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Reardon to Step Down, Sources Say : High school football: Coach at Rio Mesa for 26 years, he admits only that he will make an announcement Friday.


OXNARD — Coach John Reardon, who led the Rio Mesa High football team during parts of four decades, will announce his retirement Friday, sources said Wednesday evening.

Two school sources confirmed that the popular Reardon, Ventura County's all-time leader in football victories, will relinquish his coaching duties during a news conference scheduled at 1 p.m. Friday at Rio Mesa. Reardon, 59, is expected to remain in his position as chairman of the Spartans' physical education department.

Neither Reardon nor Rio Mesa Athletic Director Brian FitzGerald would comment on the coach's status. Both, however, did confirm Reardon will make an announcement Friday.

Before the season, Reardon intimated he might retire from coaching. The Spartans finished 6-4, 3-4 in Channel League play. Rio Mesa failed to qualify for the Southern Section Division III playoffs.

Reardon took control of the Spartans' varsity in 1967. In 26 seasons, Reardon had a record of 154-119-4.

He guided Rio Mesa to a section championship in 1971 with a 28-20 victory over Paso Robles. The Spartans lost to Atascadero, 20-14, in a 1983 section title game.

Throughout his career, Reardon has been among the county's most-respected coaches.

"I don't really know for sure if he's retiring, but I'm sure going to miss him if he is," Ventura Coach Phil McCune said. "He's been such a respected coach for so many years.

"You just don't replace people like John Reardon."

Buena Coach Rick Scott has often suggested naming the annual county all-star high school football game after Reardon.

"He's a guy who has been in coaching for all the right reasons," Scott said. "He does things the way they should be done."

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