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Durossette resigns as Bulldog coach
Long-time coach cites need for change, family, health
Bret Durossette has resigned as head coach of Ceres Highs varsity football program. In addition to teaching, he remains as a member of the Ceres City Council. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Bret Durossette has resigned as head coach of Ceres High's varsity football program.

Durossette notified Shawna Nunes, the school's athletic director, by email on Nov. 7.

"I'm not quitting on the kids," said Durossette, 50. "Everyone understands why the change has to happen. I haven't got the job done. Hopefully, someone can bring something better to the table than I can. I want Ceres High to be the best it can be."

Bret was varsity head coach for a total of 13 seasons (2011-17, 2000-05).

The Bulldogs amassed a 46-86 overall record, claimed one conference title and participated in the postseason twice under Durossette's guidance.

Ceres High won a share of the Modesto Metro Conference title-its first league championship in 18 years-and secured its second straight Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth in 2004.

The Bulldogs finished 7-4 on the year, placed third in the Central California Conference (7-2) and returned to section playoffs following an eight-year absence in 2003.

Ceres High had a combined record of 20-50 from 2011-17.

"There's nothing better than coaching football on a Friday night," Durossette said. "This is my passion. But I have a lot of my plate. I've been on the go since 2007. I realized I needed to take a step back. My focus is staying healthy. I have to be able to take care of my wife and kids. It doesn't mean I won't coach again."

Durossette, who leads a busy life as a city councilmember, P.E. teacher, coach, husband and father, suffered a health scare on campus during the season.

He drove himself to his doctor after his blood pressure spiked.

"It felt like I was having a heart attack," he said. "This is the most stressful year I've had coaching. It's been very difficult. I'm grateful I'm healthy right now."

Ceres High enjoyed a memorable start to the 2017 campaign.

The Bulldogs won three of their first four games.

Ceres High dropped its final six games.

"We had an opportunity to beat Atwater, Livingston and Central Valley," Durossette said. "We would have made the playoffs if we won those games."

The Bulldogs (3-7, 0-5) failed to post a winning record and qualify for the playoffs for the 13th year in a row.

Sophomore Dalton Durossette, Bret's son, started at quarterback for Ceres High this year.

Dalton completed 135 of 247 passes for 1,709 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He was also the Bulldogs' punter and kicker.

He earned second-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors.

"It's always tough coaching your own kid," Durossette said. "He had a target on his back because of his last name. I won't have to deal with that stress. I just want what's best for my son. I'll be going to the games on Friday nights. I'll become a spectator."

Brett will continue to teach P.E. at Ceres High.

"I don't know who the next coach is going to be," Durossette said. "We need someone that is highly motivated to take the football program in the right direction. It's going to take a special person, a plan and a lot of time. It's going to take a lot of work. If I can help out in some capacity, I will."