Prep Football

Paul James steps down after 4 seasons as Linn-Mar football coach

This time, he says, 'I think that's it'

Linn-Mar head football coach Paul James goes through a drill with linemen during practice in 2017. James announced his r
Linn-Mar head football coach Paul James goes through a drill with linemen during practice in 2017. James announced his resignation Wednesday. (The Gazette)

MARION — Despite the win-loss record, Paul James called his four years as head football coach at Linn-Mar “fulfilling” and “a great experience.”

“I had a lot of gratifying things happen here,” James said Thursday, in confirming his resignation. “The wins and losses didn’t always work out, but that’s not everything.”

James, 66, steps down after posting a 12-22 record, including a district title and playoff appearance in 2019. He said the COVID-19 pandemic “has affected some things I’m able to do coaching-wise, and I need to look out for the health of my wife (Karen) and I.”

Linn-Mar athletics director David Brown said, “Paul’s impact on the youth of the Metro area over the past several decades is unparalleled. He has given his time to make a difference in the lives of countless young student-athletes in the area as they develop into leaders in our community.

“When you get to know Paul, you understand that his successes in the athletic venues he has coached in have never been measured by wins and losses, but rather by the relationships he has developed along the way.”

James took the Linn-Mar job in 2016 after coaching at Cedar Rapids Washington for 34 years, beginning as an assistant in 1976. He spent two stints as the head coach at Washington (1995-2006 and 2013-16), compiling a record of 97-57. The Warriors were Class 4A state runners-up in 2003 and 2014.

His career record is 109-79. He was asked if he would consider coaching again, post-COVID.

“Probably not,” he said. “I think that’s it for me this time.”

Brown said the search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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