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Greg Purnell steps down as St. Francis football coach

WHEATON – After 47 years of coaching, the last seven of which came as the leader of the St. Francis football program, Greg Purnell announced his retirement on Sunday.

He will remain at the school as the major gift officer in the development office.

Purnell led the Spartans to five playoff appearances in his seven seasons, including a state championship in 2008. That was his fourth state title, which included three from his time in Iowa. His final record at St. Francis was 47-26.

"He transformed our program," said athletic director Dan Hardwick. "He had six seasons at .500 or better and he is the only head football coach here to do that. And five playoff appearances which is a St. Francis record.

"But I can also say that as impressive as that is, it's also the off-the-field stuff, as well. He played a lead role in raising money for the new facility. For his accomplishments on and off the field, he deserves a heartfelt thank you."

The job of head football coach at St. Francis was posted this week and interested applicants should send a letter of interest, resume, and three references to Hardwick at dhardwick@sfhsnet.org by Jan. 3, 2014.

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