Derek Thompson and his Kankakee Valley Kougars football team arrived back at the school in a bus last Thursday after team camp. The first-year coach said he was excited about what he was trying to build in Wheatfield.
Suddenly, the next day, he resigned.
"K.V. and myself agreed it was in the best interest of both parties for me to resign," Thompson said on Thursday afternoon. "I'm not happy about it at all. I had no intention in leaving those boys."
After a great run at Lowell, Thompson moved to DeMotte a month ago after he was hired as a teacher at K.V., too. He said he will not teach there now and is looking for a job elsewhere.
"He resigned," K.V. athletic director John Gray said. "I'm not going to say anything else about it. We're looking for a replacement right now."
Neither Thompson nor Gray would elaborate on why Thompson resigned abruptly.
Thompson played for Kirk Kennedy's 1994 team that shocked Hobart in the regional and advanced to the Red Devils' first semistate. He went on and played at Manchester College before returning to coach in the Region.
He was an assistant at Lake Central in 2000, then coached Lowell's middle school program the next two years. From 2003 through 2009 Thompson was on Merrillville's staff as the Pirates advanced to three semistates in that stretch.
In 2010, he returned to Lowell as the defensive coordinator, helping the Devils advance to the Class 4A state championship game last November. He was hired at K.V. at the end of January.
He replaced Zach Prairie, who went 6-15 in two seasons as K.V.'s head coach. Before Prairie, another Lowell defensive coordinator, Brad Stewart, coached the Kougars for five seasons.
K.V. football has had eight head coaches since 2000.
"I just signed a lease down here," Thompson said. "Less than a month later I'm back to the drawing board. I'm out here weighing my options now."