Casko steps down as coach; still AD
by David Royal
Dec 20, 2013 | 2307 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rick Casko, the winningnest football coach in Cass history, has resigned his head coaching position at the school but will remain as its athletic director.

Casko has been head football coach at Cass the past 11 years, compiling a 43-68 record. The Colonels have made the state playoffs twice during his tenure.

Casko said he spoke with Mike Nelson, Cass principal, about his desire to step down as head coach and the two discussed him remaining as athletic director, and he found that option very attractive.

“I really care about Cass,” Casko said. “I have tremendous friendships here. My wife likes it here. It’s a great place.”

Nelson praised Casko’s accomplishments and contributions to the program.

“Coach Casko has had a tremendous impact on Cass High School during his 11 years here,” Nelson said. “His priorities have always been what’s best for our kids. He’s been extremely loyal to Cass and has made great contributions to our students.”

Nelson said those contributions have been across the board.

“Our football program,” he said, “is in a much better place than when he arrived from the standpoint of competitiveness, kids in the program, and taking us to the playoffs two of the three times we’ve been there. He also has a great work ethic, and he has had a positive impact on our kids and school as a whole, not just with the football program.”

Nelson said he expects the school to begin searching for a new football coach after the first of the year.

He said that’s when the school will start searching for “the person that’s the best fit for us and who will continue our program in the right direction.”

Casko, who also teaches physical education and weight training, said remaining at the school would allow him to work with youngsters who have come to mean a lot to him.

“I talked to the kids this morning and told them I would support them in every way I can,” he said Thursday. “I told them I’ll still be right there. I’m at Cass. I’ll be there for them every inch of the way.”

He said he continues to have high goals for the students and the school. “I want our athletics to be the best,” he said.

He said he’s going out as football coach with a great senior class.

“I have enjoyed working with that senior group,” he said. “I wanted to leave at the right time. It just seemed like the right time, but I’m still a Colonel and will still be working to have our program be the best it can be.”

The Colonels fielded 16 seniors last season and started the year with high hopes.

“We had a goal to get into the playoffs,” Casko said, “but some things happened. We set our goals but what I was shooting for didn’t happen.”

The team lost its senior quarterback when he was arrested on drug charges and that challenge proved insurmountable as the season played out for the Colonels.

Casko said he has not considered other options, adding he declined to pursue any other opportunities while heading the Cass football program.

“If an opportunity presented itself, I would listen, but I didn’t want to look at those things while I was still in charge at Cass,” he said.

Casko is credited with changing the football culture during his tenure at Cass.

His 2004 and 2006 state playoff teams broke every passing, rushing and scoring record in school history.

He was selected to coach in the North Georgia/East Tennessee All-Star game as offensive coordinator in 2004 and 2006.

During his 11 years, nine players signed football scholarships.

Prior to coming to Cass, he was assistant head football coach, assistant athletic director and head boys track coach at The Benjamin School, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., from 1992 to 2002. The team won three region championships and participated in the state playoffs those years. The 1999 team shattered the scoring record by averaging 39.7 points per game while finishing with an 11-3 record.

He was the head football coach at his alma mater, John I Leonard High School, in Lake Worth, Fla., from 1994-1998, where he recorded two of the school’s four winning seasons. He coached in the Florida North/South All-Star game as offensive coordinator in Jacksonville. Eight of his players received football scholarships.

Casko was the head football coach at Glades Central High School from 1991-1993, making the state playoffs in two of those years and earning a 34-4 overall record. Nineteen players signed football scholarships during those years. The teams also included two No. 1 NFL draft picks and five others were also drafted by the NFL and four others signed and played in the AFL.

He also was the head football coach at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Fla., where his team was region champions in 1986. Twenty-four of his players signed football scholarships.