Brownwood High School athletic director and head football coach Steve Freeman announced his resignation Friday, which will end his 15-year association with the athletic program.

Freeman has spent the last 12 seasons as Brownwood’s head coach, compiling a 90-52 record in that span with nine playoff appearances. The Lions missed the playoffs the last two seasons, however, which had not happened since the 1994 and 1995 campaigns.

“This has been a little bit of a thought process for the last few days,” Freeman said. “I thought it was an opportunistic time for the school district, right here before the holidays, because that’s a crucial time for finding a replacement for this position. I felt like this would be the right move for me and be a good move for the Brownwood program.”

Brownwood entered the 2008 football season ranked in the Top 10 of several preseason polls, but finished its first year at the Class 3A level since 1979 with a 3-7 overall mark and a fifth-place finish in the six-team District 2-3A race.

“Our offseason program is under way and our kids are busting their tails, but we don’t like that fact. We’d rather still be playing,” Freeman said. “We have a lot of kids and coaches that have some disappointment. We’ve sniffed at it several times, but we’ve never been able to close the door. We’re still wanting this thing to go the distance, but hopefully we’ve contributed to something good along the way.”

Arguably Freeman’s best seasons at Brownwood came in 2002 and 2006. Despite a 6-4 regular season record in 2002, the Lions reached the state semifinals and finished 9-5. In 2006, the Lions posted just a 4-6 regular season mark, but won a three-way coin toss on the final night of the season and went on to reach the state quarterfinals and finish with a 7-7 record.

The Lions also advanced to the state quarterfinals in 1997, one of three seasons with at least 10 wins during the Freeman era.

Freeman hinted he will remain as athletic director through the end of the semester, but when his resignation will officially become effective is uncertain. Brownwood ISD superintendent Dr. Reece Blincoe was unavailable for comment on Freeman’s resignation, or when a successor would be named.

“Right now I feel like the program is not broken down,” Freeman said. “The JV bunch was solid and won district, the freshmen won district and there were a lot of young kids up at the varsity level. We struggled, but my goals have not changed a bit for this program. We’re not far removed from this thing being extremely solid.”