Bill Renner is stepping down as head coach of the East Chapel Hill High School football team.
Renner, who led the Wildcats to their best regular-season finish in football since the school opened in 1996, met with the players after classes Monday to inform them of his decision. He later sent an email to all the players' parents.
"As I told the players, I can identify with how they may feel," Renner said. "My football coach left before my senior year in high school also.
"They do not need to panic because inside of them is the heart of a winner and champion like they displayed on the field this season. It will carry them through whatever they encounter in their life. They were the ones that made the plays to win and go to the playoffs and that won't change next year."
Renner plans to retire as a physical education at the end of this school year.
"After 28 years in public education, it is time for me to move on to another venture in my life," said Renner, who formerly coached and taught in Virginia high schools.
East Chapel Hill finished 5-5 this fall and played at No. 1 seeded Scotland County in the first round of the state playoffs.
Renner, the father of University of North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner, said he and his wife Cindy plan to stay in the Chapel Hill area.
"Cindy and I retired to this area from Virginia, and we are very happy with living here," he said.
Renner also has trained several players who are now in the NFL. He said he would pursue a full-time career in training players in kicking, punting and quarterback skills as well consult with teams in these areas.