NIGEL Kol last night announced he would not seek reappointment as South Warrnambool’s senior football coach — less than two weeks after he guided the Roosters to a premiership.
The father-of-two leaves Friendly Societies’ Park with the enviable record of two seasons for two grand final appearances, including this year’s Hampden league flag.
But the time-consuming reality of the job has taken its toll and Kol has honourably chosen his family over the hunt for more September silverware.
The 49-year-old told The Standard last night that a heartbreaking moment, repeated most Saturdays at half-time, was the tipping point.
“I’d see my son bouncing the footy and no one was there to have a kick with him,” Kol said.
“You get to a point in life where, as much as I enjoy coaching, there’s a price to pay.”
The local real estate agent said it was his duty to be available for his teenage children and wife Tracey.
“It’s not Nigel Kol’s time, it’s Laura Kol and Noah Kol’s time,” he said.
“I don’t want them to think dad’s too busy to have a kick of the footy or a throw of the netball. It’s about doing the things that matter.”
Kol played football for Geelong in 1983 and Melbourne from 1985 to 1987 before moving to Warrnambool with twin brother Michael to run the Grand Hotel.
The talented pair were quickly snapped up by South Warrnambool.
Kol had three memorable seasons with the Roosters, including premierships in 1990 and ’91 and runner-up in 1992.
His first coaching assignment was in 2005-06 at rival club Warrnambool.
The former physical education teacher later replaced joint coaches Stephen Kelson and Danny Finn at South for the 2010 season.
“I’ve played here, I’ve sweated here, I’ve done time here,” he said.
“When I came back two years ago I had exactly the same vision as when I came here as a player: I wanted to make a difference.”
Kol hinted it was time to hand over the torch over to someone with a fresher outlook on the game he loves.
“I’ve been involved in footy for a long time but it’s a young man’s caper,” he said.
“I’ve loved being a part of the youth. There’s some outstanding individuals at that club.
“I’ve enjoyed seeing them progress from being a reasonable side to a side that won a flag.
“Their perception in the community is better and they’re a very unified group.
“They deserve all the credit they get.”
South president Gary Walsh admitted he was surprised by Kol’s announcement and did not yet have a replacement.
He said the shoes of the departing coach would be very hard to fill.
“His record speaks for itself,” Walsh said.
“His passion and dedication has been outstanding.
“As a club we express our gratitude to Nigel for coaching us to two grand finals (including) the premiership.”
Walsh said the Roosters would get their search for a new leader under way next week.
Kol officially announced his departure at South’s presentation dinner, held last night.