Clarence is in need of a new football coach as longtime program fixture Mark Layer has decided to retire from the post.
Layer stepped down after spending 30 years with the Red Devils, including the past six seasons as varsity coach. He guided Clarence to the Class AA North Division title last fall during a 6-3 campaign. The Red Devils lost in the Section VI semifinals to Orchard Park to cap one of their best seasons since capturing the sectional championship in 2010.
"It was time for a change, it's time to do different things," said Layer, who will continue teaching for the school district. "It was a great run for me at Clarence. I was a player there. I feel the program is in great shape."
It appears to be as the Red Devils are expected to have more than half of their roster returning for the coming season – including quarterback Jack Putney along with running backs/linebackers Jake Reger and Jack Shaver.
Layer's decision was a bit of a surprise to Clarence Athletic Director Greg Kaszubski. He was hoping Layer would stay on a little longer.
"I want to respect his decision, but we're going to miss him," Kaszubski said. "He's been an asset to our program. … Sometimes all good things have to come to an end."
The Red Devils have started the interview process and hope to have a replacement to recommend in a few weeks to the school board. The next board meeting is June 12.
"At the end it was a bit of a surprise but at the same time I'm happy for him," Kaszubski said.