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Citing personal reasons, the coach steps aside after two seasons with the Lions

by: TIDINGS FILE PHOTO - Head football coach Mike Fanger resigned Tuesday after two years with the team.After meeting with administrators at West Linn High School, informing them of his decision, head football coach Mike Fanger met with his players and informed them that he would be resigning from his position.

The announcement comes a little more than a week after the Lions' season ended in the first round of the playoffs.

Fanger coached West Linn for two seasons, joining the program after stints at Lincoln and LaSalle and took over for longtime coach Ron Chappell.

West Linn has been a program in transition for the past two seasons. After the Lions went 7-2 in the regular season in 2011 before being stunned in the first round of the playoffs, the team has gone 8-14 under Fanger, winning just two league games in the process.

But there have also been significant positives, with the highlight being the Lions' 7-3 win over Lake Oswego this year, snapping the Lakers' 48-game Three Rivers League winning streak.

According to Mills, Fanger cited “personal reasons” for his resignation.

“Unfortunately for some of our kids, it's another transition but we will be starting our search after the new year, and we've told the players to keep working hard in the offseason,” Mills said.

The new coach will inherit a program that is stocked with young talent and with a history of success, but also one that will face an entirely new and presumably more difficult league next season.

“It's definitely going to be challenging. With any coach at West Linn, we're looking for someone who can relate well with the kids and who knows what it means to be a part of the Lions' community,” Mills said.

Fanger is currently still teaching at the high school.

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