When Palmerton head football coach Paul McArdle took over as head coach of the Blue Bombers back in 2004, he inherited a program that hadn't had a winning season in its five previous seasons.

It didn't happen over night, but he eventually took the team to a new level finishing as co-Colonial League champions in 2007 and District 11 Class2A silver medalists in back-to-back season.

After finishing a 3-7 season with a team devastated by injuries, McArdle submitted his resignation this week to spend more time and enjoy his growing family.

"I recently notified my Athletic Director Bill Congdon and my Principal Kathy Egan that I made the decision this past summer that this season would be my final one as head football coach at Palmerton School District," he said when asked about the decision yesterday.

"The 12 years that I spent coaching football at Palmerton have been the most rewarding aspect of my life outside of my family. The bonds I made with players, fellow coaches, opposing coaches, and our football fans are very strong and have been a very positive influence in my life and will last forever."

McArdle said the decision basically came down to how much time it takes to be a successful head coach.

"Being a head football coach is a full-time, full-year job," he said. "When you spend about a 1,000 hours a year doing something, that time has to come from somewhere and for me it was from my family, from my teaching, and from other interests that I have.

"I am still very passionate about coaching football, just not being the head coach. To continue on as the leader of a program without full enthusiasm and full passion would not be fair to those who sacrifice to allow me to coach, to the school district, and most importantly, to the players in the program."

McArdle began his coaching career at Palmerton under the late Caz Kosciolek in 1999. The first two years he was a freshman coach. He also was a junior high coach for two years under Donn Nicholas and one year under Rick Bennett.

His career record was 34-42 sandwiching two 9-3 seasons around 2-9 and 4-6 marks in his first years and 1-9 and 3-7 the past two seasons.

"I'd like to thank the Palmerton School administration for their full and unwavering support of my decisions in my seven years as head coach," he said. "I'd like to publically recognize the tremendous amount of dedication from the coaches who have been my assistants through the years. Their work ethic, friendship, and compassion truly made the Palmerton Football program a family.

"Most importantly, I'd like to thank the players past and present who have contributed so much to my life through football."