Michael Calloway on Monday became the second District 6-AA football coach to resign after the 2013 season.
"I'm 3-26. I figured I needed three years to get it done, and I had that," he said. "I'm a Howard graduate and I love the program. That said, I feel the program needs some fresh hands. The view I have is not working, and I've tried everything in my power."
Central's John Allen stepped down after the Purple Pounders' first-round playoff loss.
This season Howard won just once, beating Loudon.
"I realize we are down as far as athleticism and numbers, but I feel we could have stolen three or four more wins," Calloway said.
After the Tigers' midseason loss at Greater Atlanta Christian, the squad dropped by 16 players.
"We went to Greater Atlanta with 39 kids, and the very next week we were down to 23. I don't think I was able to get the kids to buy in to winning football," the coach said. "We had some kids that didn't care if they were on the football team or not. I couldn't get them involved, and then I couldn't get them to stay. I feel it's time for some fresh eyes, somebody who'll beat the streets, recruit the halls."
Howard began the year with eight seniors.
"That might sound good to some, but we only had four juniors," Calloway said. "I love the school and the program enough to try and dig it out of a hole, but I also love them enough to step aside with the hope and belief that somebody else can lift it up. I had assistant's experience under Alvin [Tarver], but it's a totally different job as a head coach."
Calloway will remain the Tigers' wrestling coach but said he may apply for an assistant principal's job for the 2014-15 school year.
"He loves the kids, the program and the school, and the last three years he's done the best job he possibly could," Howard principal Zac Brown said. "We appreciate his service and his dedication to the program, but we both felt it was time for new leadership."
Brown hopes to have a new coach in place before the Christmas break.
"That would be ideal, but it's all about finding the right person and the right personality," he said. "I want to put good people in front of our young men, a high-character guy to instill discipline and do it the right way."
Contact Ward Gossett at email@example.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.