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PHS Head Coach, Mike Byus, announces retirement at the annual football banquet Sunday night

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 12:44 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -

UPDATE: 01/10/2022, 6 P.M.

WTAP spoke with former Parkersburg Big Reds head coach Mike Byus about his decision to retire.

He says the timing is right because he wants to give the new head coach ample time to prepare the team for next season, which is not the opportunity Byus had.

“Whoever takes that over,” Byus says. “Hopefully we’ve left enough building blocks there that you know the kids have learned a good, solid work ethic and all season and during practices they know what it takes to be successful.”

Byus looks back on his time with the Big Reds fondly, and says he will continue to root the team on in his retirement.

“I’ll always be a Big Red,” said Byus. “And I’ll always root for the Big Reds and I wanted to make sure these kids had every opportunity to be successful next year.”

Byus says telling the team his decision was an emotional experience, and he wanted them to know how much he cared for them.

“I just wanted to make sure I told them I love them,” Byus said. “And I’d be in their corner any time they ever needed me they had my phone number, they knew how to get in touch with me, and I would do anything in the world for any of those coaches or players, and they know that.”

Parkersburg Athletic Director Chris Way tells WTAP that the process for hiring a new head coach will begin once Byus’ resignation is finalized at a Wood Couny Board of Education meeting on January 25.

The school will then post the position to the Board of Education’s website, and applicants will be interviewed a week following the job posting.

A recommendation will then be made after the interview process.

ORIGINAL STORY: 01/10/2022, 12:45 P.M.

While bidding farewell to the seniors of the Parkersburg High School football team head coach, Mike Byus, announced he was retiring from his position as head coach during the team’s annual football banquet held at Grand Pointe Conference Center.

Byus coached for 38 seasons and his last five seasons were with the Big Red. He compiled an overall record of 239-127 and a 29-23 record with PHS. He made four playoffs appearances and notched the Big Red’s first playoff win in 11 years by defeating Wheeling in 2018.

The Big Red went 4-6 this season and didn’t make the playoffs. They lost their final game of the season 28-24 to George Washington. Byus spoke to his team at the banquet.

“You certainly deserved better than the record showed. You worked harder than any group I have had in my five years here but it was just one thing after another. We had five broken legs and a broken ankle. We had three senior returning linebackers but they only got to play two out of 10 games together. In my 38 years of coaching I have never seen anything like what happened this year,” Byus said.

Byus will be returning to North Carolina with his family where he won two state championships.

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