Rod Saffert did not want to leave the program he had been a part of for 26 years, but felt it was necessary.
Saffert, Cary-Grove’s girls head basketball coach for the past 13 seasons, announced he was resigning his position Tuesday afternoon on Twitter. Saffert tweeted from the Trojans' girls basketball Twitter account (@cggirlsbb) about how thankful he was to have coached at C-G.
“I have two and a half decades of great memories to reflect on,” Saffert tweeted.
Saffert cited “outside pressures” as his reason for stepping down.
“It wasn’t the athletic director (Jim Altendorf) or the principal (Neil Lesinski),” Saffert said. “It was outside things that were too overwhelming. It was a very difficult season, let’s put it that way. Looking at the big picture, it was just a good idea for me to walk away for the sake of the program.”
Saffert’s teams were 248-135 in his 13 seasons as head coach, with six Class 4A regional championships. The Trojans were 12-17 last season, one of only four losing seasons in Saffert's tenure. C-G was 19-11 with a share of the Fox Valley Conference title and a regional championship in 2018.
The veteran coach also released a statement Tuesday.
“After twenty-six incredible years with the Cary-Grove girls basketball program, thirteen at the helm, I am stepping down as the head coach," Saffert said in the statement. "The challenges that I face being in charge have become too difficult and too stressful to manage. They have taken away my focus, which used to be helping these young ladies succeed in life and continuing a winning tradition, and replaced it with an unobtainable outside standard that would be hard for any coach to live up to.
"I thank Cary-Grove for giving me this opportunity, a chance to give half of my life to something meaningful and memorable. It truly has been a remarkable journey, a journey I will always cherish and reflect on positively. I wish it didn’t have to come to a close, but it has, and I understand why.”
Saffert went on to thank players, assistant coaches, referees, athletic directors, principals and workers at the school. He also thanked area coaches he worked against and said he will miss that competition. And he wished the girls in the program good luck in their future.
Saffert will remain in his teaching position in C-G’s English Department.