Marcus Wattley has resigned as St. Vincent-St. Mary football coach to take a position on the University of Akron coaching staff.

“I always said before that the toughest decision of my career was leaving Copley to go to St. V, and I told the kids today that the hardest decision of my career now is leaving St. V to go to Akron,” Wattley said. “There is a great group of kids who fought and gave me everything they could. The future is very bright and there is an opportunity to win a state championship there, but when this opportunity came, it came down to what is best for myself and my family, and we decided to go to Akron.

“I am meeting with coach [Terry] Bowden later on this week to discuss the exact details.”

Wattley compiled records of 7-5 in 2016 and 10-4 in 2017 as St. V-M coach. The Irish finished the 2017 season with a Division III state semifinal appearance.

“Our school would like to wish coach Wattley the best as he moves on to the University of Akron to further his coaching career,” St. V-M athletic director Willie McGee said in a news release. “Coach Wattley is a man of high character, what he is leaving behind, we will continue to build upon our high football tradition.”

Wattley graduated from Copley High School in 2000 and holds one bachelor’s degree and two associates degrees from UA (2003, 2006, 2010). He played football at both schools.

Wattley was an assistant coach for 12 years under Dan Boarman (three at Copley and then nine at St. V-M) before taking over as the Irish coach. Wattley was an assistant coach on the 2012 and 2013 St. V-M teams that won Division III state titles.

McGee said St. V-M will start the search for a new coach immediately.

Basketball tidbits

• The Buchtel girls basketball team (12-7, 9-0) will attempt to finish undefeated in the City Series when it hosts Ellet (10-8, 6-3) on Thursday. Buchtel beat host Firestone 66-42 on Monday with Amiyah Stallings (20 points) and Imani Jackson (10 points) leading the way.

• Firestone topped host North 86-65 in boys basketball on Tuesday. Perrion Johnson (22 points) and LaFette Johnson (16 points) led the Falcons (7-8, 4-4) in scoring.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps.