LAKE TWP. One of the longest tenured high school head football coaches in Stark County is stepping down. Jeff Durbin, who retired three years ago as a Lake Local Schools administrator, has coached his final game for the Blue Streaks.
“My 27 years as an employee at Lake Local have provided an extraordinary experience for me and my family,” Durbin said in a statement released this morning. “I have enjoyed an unwavering support of the administration, faculty and staff at Lake High School and Lake Middle School as I have persued my greatest passion as a football coach and educator.
“I am deeply indebted to the many assistant coaches who have been instrumental to the success of Lake football. I have been privileged to work with many of the finest young men our society has to offer, and I only hope that I have had as positive an impact on their lives as they have had on mine.”
In Durbin’s 23 years, the Blue Streaks played for three state championships, won five regional titles and won the Federal League four times while being the league’s smallest school. Lake made the postseason in 14 of Durbin’s 23 seasons.
He was 163-98.
“Jeff was the textbook model for how a school-based interscholastic head coach should perform on and off the playing field every day with every one of his students,” Lake athletics director Bruce Brown said. “I’ve told many others that even if Jeff was coaching tidily-winks as a sport, I would want my child to play for him. The lessons and relationships that he developed with all of those who were touched by his program and his efforts are reflective of his passion as an educator.”
Lake’s administration is in the process of determining a timeline and succession plan to fill Durbin’s position in the next few weeks.