Dave Stupka

Dave Stupka stepped down as Madison's football coach after four seasons.

MADISON TOWNSHIP — Dave Stupka has resigned as Madison’s football coach.

Stupka was 2-35 in his four seasons in charge of the Rams. Madison was 0-8 with two games lost to COVID-19 quarantine protocols this fall.

“First and foremost, Dave is one of the best guys I’ve ever been around,” Madison athletic director Doug Rickert said Wednesday morning. “His kids meant a lot to him. They loved him and he loved them.

“The bottom line is we just didn’t win football games. That’s what it came down to.”

While the Rams struggled on the field during Stupka’s tenure, Rickert said the coaching veteran had the program pointed in the right direction.

“Dave checked a lot of boxes. He got our numbers up. He had kids in the weight room. He was an extremely hard worker,” Rickert said. “He would go to all the junior varsity games and he was taking trips to watch the junior high teams play.”

Stupka was hired in March of 2018 to replace Jamie Masi. He arrived at Madison after a three-year stay at Elyria Catholic, leading the Panthers to a 15-15 record.

Before that, Stupka coached at Lutheran West and the now defunct Bedford St. Peter Chanel. He was selected the Division V Co-Coach of the Year in 2006.

“Dave is a good coach and a good man,” Rickert said. “It just didn’t work out real well.”

Madison hasn’t had a winning season since going 7-4 and reaching the playoffs in 2014 under Sean Conway. The Rams are 9-58 overall and just 5-38 in Ohio Cardinal Conference play since then.

Rickert said the search for Stupka’s successor already is under way.

“We want somebody who has varsity football head coaching experience,” Rickert said. “That is how the job is posted and that is what we are looking for. If we don’t see a candidate with the right credentials, we would re-visit it.

“I just want to wish Dave and his family the best. He’s not only a football coach for me, but he became a good friend.”

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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