Pat Echeverria was accepted into his alma mater from Pike High School three years ago with the intention of turning around a program that had had only occasional success on the field since joining the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference in 2013.
After three seasons, Echeverria decided for various reasons that he would change his coaching career.
“I told (athletic director David Paddock) I couldn’t put my finger on one thing,” said Echeverria, adding that there was no pressure on him by the administration to resign. “The wins and losses weren’t what I was hoping for when I took the track, but it wasn’t just that. With all that was going on with the school district and the various challenges I had, I felt it was time to move on. I didn’t feel it was the right match.”
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Echeverria, 43, was 5-25 in his three seasons with Pike. The Red Devils were 1-9 last fall with a loss to Lawrence North in the regular season final as their only win. Echeverria said a 3-7 season in 2020 was a missed opportunity.
“We had the opportunity to win more games and that didn’t carry over to year three,” he said. “I’m glad I did it. It’s my alma mater. It didn’t go the way I wanted. But I still love the children and feel no ill will at all. It just felt like the right time to move on.”
Echeverria’s wife, Valerie, was hired a year ago as chief of radiology at Decatur County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg, which he also believes played a role in his decision. Echeverria, who is 55-70 overall in 11 seasons, coached with Zionsville for five years before coming to Pike and winning three section titles. He started his coaching career with three seasons and an appearance in the Class A state final in 2013 at Eastern Hancock, which currently has a coaching opening.
Earlier this month, the Pike Township school board voted unanimously to appoint an interim superintendent to replace Flora Reichanadter, who was criticized after several months of labor disputes between the district and teachers and academic disruptions.
Pike’s football program played in the state championship in 2007 under freshman coach Derek Moyers and won the program’s only other two section titles in 2012 and ’13 under Moyers. But the Red Devils haven’t won a section game since 2017 and are only 3-25 in their last 28 conference games.
“The administration has treated me fairly,” Echeverria said. “There are things that I have no control over that frustrated me, but it’s definitely an amicable divorce.”
Call Star reporter Kyle Nedden called at 317-444-6649.