By RICK PETERSON
Carlos Kelly confirmed to TopSports.news Sunday that he has resigned as Topeka High's head football coach after four seasons at the Trojan helm.
Kelly said he submitted his resignation after a meeting with Topeka High's administration on Friday.
"After meeting with the administration it was decided that it was probably a good time for a new coach to come in and get a fresh start,'' Kelly said.
Kelly, who previously served as an assistant at Topeka High under former Trojan coach Walt Alexander, posted a 6-27 record in his four seasons as High's head coach, including back-to-back 1-8 seasons the past two years.
The Trojans' lone win this fall came in Week 4, with Topeka High rolling to a 39-10 Centennial League win over Emporia.
Topeka High played arguably what was one of the state's toughest schedules the past two seasons, with High's foes compiling a 136-60 overall record over that span.
High's 2022 opponents posted a 72-29 record, with Trojans losing to Class 6A state champion Manhattan and 5A runnerup Maize.
The Trojans' opponents this fall are currently 64-31, with Derby playing for the 6A state title this Saturday in Emporia after ending Topeka High's season in the opening round of the 6A playoffs.
High also played 6A semifinalist Washburn Rural, 6A quarterfinalist Manhattan and 5A quarterfinalist Maize while eight of the Trojans' nine opponents posted at least one playoff win this fall.
Despite being outscored by a 442-133 margin on the season, Kelly said he was proud of the way his young Trojans fought throughout the '23 season. Topeka High began the 2023 season with just nine seniors on its roster and only four upperclassmen that played significant minutes.
"They were gritty,'' Kelly said. "They showed a lot of grit and never gave up.''
Topeka High was Kelly's first head coaching job at the high school level, but he has more than two decades of experience as an assistant coach and also coached professional indoor football for seven seasons, including a stint as the head coach of the Kansas Koyotes.
Kelly did not rule out a return to coaching.