Brian Curit, Biddeford High football coach, says his 20th season as the Tigers’ varsity coach will be his last. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Brian Curit has always tried to put his players first.

That’s why Curit decided it was important to let Biddeford High’s football team know that he intends this season, his 20th as the varsity coach, to be his last.

“I want them to get the sense that this is one of the last times we’re doing this together,” Curit said Tuesday. “I’m trying to make sure wherever I go to take everything in.”

Biddeford Athletic Director Dennis Walton said he told Curit he won’t accept his resignation until after the season.

“Until then he’s our head football coach and we’re happy about that,” Walton said. “I don’t anticipate him doing this, but if Brian changes his mind next week he will be returning next year.”

Biddeford is 3-1 this season in Class B South. Curit’s teams are 125-65 overall, making the playoffs each season.

For his part, Curit, 55, said he knows the time is right to step away, even though he remains passionate about his role and the Tigers’ chances this season.

“There’s no pressure from anywhere else,” said Curit, who let the team know of his decision in September. “This is 37 consecutive years of coaching football, and when you’re the head coach there’s that much more involved. I feel like I’m physically and mentally exhausted.”

Curit was Biddeford’s head coach from 1994-2006, following in the footsteps of his own high school coach, Mike Landry. Curit, a 1982 Biddeford High graduate, was a halfback/defensive end on the 1980 team that won the first of six Class A titles under Landry. He was Landry’s offensive line coach when the Tigers won championships in 1991 and 1993.

“Brian, always as a young man bled orange and black and he would talk about in high school and then in college his dream was to be the head football coach at Biddeford High School,” said Don Wilson, the school’s athletic director when Curit was hired to replace Landry.

Biddeford won the Class A state title in Curit’s first season and went to the playoffs the next 12 years, reaching the Western Maine final in 2002 and 2003.

After 13 years, Curit resigned as the varsity coach but continued to coach in the youth, and later, middle school football programs. When Scott Descoteaux retired after six seasons, Curit was rehired in 2013. He oversaw Biddeford’s transition from Class A to Class B. His 2016 team reached the B South final, losing to Kennebunk.

Curit said he is in good health but has struggled with insomnia “for a long time and it exacerbates in the season. Coaching football is a 12-month thing and if you care about your craft you’re always thinking about something.”

As a football coach, Curit said he’s always tried to emphasize the sport’s value in building character more than wins and losses.

“Developing young men is his top priority,” Walton said.

“His number one thing is he cares about kids,” Wilson said. “His integrity. His compassion.”

Curit will continue to teach social studies at Biddeford High.

“I have five more years in the classroom, a job I love every day,” he said. “One thing I stress all the time (is) everybody has to make choices in regards to your life’s work and without getting terribly philosophical, I believe God intended me to do this job, first in the classroom and then out on the football field. Heck, I got the chance to do it twice.”

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