Arsenal Tech High School's head football coach is stepping down


Emil Ekiyor led the Arsenal Tech team for three years. Friday night, he coached his last game against Southport High School.

Saturday, Ekiyor also coached his last Greater Central Indiana Youth Football League game.

Coach Ekiyor helped start the popular youth football league four years ago after writing a proposal to the IPS superintendent.

"The kids we started with as 7th and 8th graders just graduated as seniors. We have a lot of kids go to college and play football from my senior class at Tech and across the district," said Ekiyor.

Ekiyor moved to the United States as a teenager after being born in Nigeria. Ekiyor played pro football, but it's been his job as a high school football coach that he's valued most. This last season he coached without a paycheck.

"My team at Tech right now, out of 85 kids, we have 12 that have both mom and dad at home. There is a need for male figurehead. Football is not the answer to everything, but helps us patch up the gaps the kids have in their lives," said the former coach.

For the last six years, he's pulled double duty with the youth football league and as the head coach at Arsenal Tech High School. Coach Ekiyor now says it's time to focus on his family.

Parents we talked said they are said to see Coach Ekiyor step away from the sidelines.

Ekiyor believes as IPS juggles a $30 million budget shortfall, the district should not consider cutting athletic programs.

"My biggest fear is we don't have a vision. There will be a lot of young people suffering on that," he said.

You may recall earlier this season a brawl captured on cell phone video landed coaches, players and parents in hot water.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association gave one-game suspensions to Ekiyor and the head coach at Fort Wayne South Side. Nine Tech players got one-game suspensions, too.

IPS has not announced a replacement for Coach Ekiyor at Arsenal Tech High School.

If you'd like more information on donating or volunteering to the Greater Central Indiana Youth Football League, contact USA Football.