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Bluffton football coach steps down


– Casey Kolkman started as a football coach with the seventh-graders at Woodside Middle School in 1995. He moved to high school as an assistant at Harding, New Haven and North Side, followed by head coaching stints at North Side and Bluffton.

But after almost 20 years, he decided to take a break to spend more time with his teenage children and recently resigned as the Bluffton football coach.

His daughter, Josie, is a freshman at Bishop Dwenger, and his son, Alex, is a seventh-grader at St. Jude’s.

“It begins and ends with my kids, and I have my window right now,” he said of spending time with his children.

Kolkman was 17-25 in four years at Bluffton and 29-34 in six years at North Side.

“We are very thankful for his efforts and influence on our kids and to our football program,” Bluffton athletic director Steve Thompson said. “His kids are very active with their school sports teams, and he wants to be around more for them.”

Kolkman said he would be open to helping out with coaching on whatever team his kids are on. After they go to college, he said he would be open to returning to coaching at other places.

“Then I might get back into the mix,” Kolkman said.