Throughout his 15 years as a football coach at Trinity Catholic High School, first as an assistant and, for the last four, at the head position, Pete Stokes has always referred to his team as a family.
But it became evident to Stokes a year ago that he had another family he had to prioritize — his wife and their four children.
And so, on Tuesday afternoon, Stokes gathered his players to inform them that he is stepping down as the Crusaders’ coach. The move came exactly two weeks after the team’s best season in 19 years came to an end.
“I probably need a little bit of a break,” said Stokes, a former quarterback at the school. “The young ones need me for a little while.”
Stokes has four children, including a pair of 5-year old twins.
“One wants to dance and one plays soccer,” Stokes said. “I can’t keep relying on my wife to guide them. The FCIAC football season goes 12 months a year. With the amount of undue stress, I probably need to recharge the battery. I want to spend the next year with the kids and doing things around the house.”
Stokes, who replaced Bryan Fox four years ago, leaves with an 18-23 record. This season the Crusaders beat New Canaan for the first time in 28 years — to the day, when Stokes was the team’s winning quarterback. That season ended with Stokes leading the school then known as Stamford Catholic to the FCIAC title.