In this Dec. 14, 2018, photo, Jay County High School boys basketball coach Chris Krieg gives direction to his team during the first half against the Delta Eagles. Krieg, 55, retired as JCHS boys coach after five seasons and more than two decades total as a coach. (The Commercial Review/Chris Schanz)
In this Dec. 14, 2018, photo, Jay County High School boys basketball coach Chris Krieg gives direction to his team during the first half against the Delta Eagles. Krieg, 55, retired as JCHS boys coach after five seasons and more than two decades total as a coach. (The Commercial Review/Chris Schanz)
As a coach for more than two decades, Chris Krieg missed a number of family events.

He never got to just be a teacher, either.

As a soon-to-be grandfather, he’ll be there for all the milestones. And have a lot more free time after school.

Krieg retired as Jay County High School boys basketball coach this morning after more than two decades as a coach.

“Bottom line, I have put basketball in front of my family for 25 years,” the 55-year-old Krieg said. “I’ve missed out on things in my kids’ lives and I will not miss out on our little one.”

Krieg, who was adamant he was retiring and not resigning, was 65-52 in five seasons leading the Patriot boys and 122-101 overall, including a five-year stint as head coach of the JCHS girls.

Jay County’s boys finished their 2019-20 campaign Friday with a 7-16 record, the program’s first losing season since 2000-01.

“On behalf of the Jay School Corporation and the Jay County community, we would like to thank Chris Krieg for his many years of dedication to coaching boys basketball, girls basketball and golf at Jay County High School,” JCHS athletics director Steve Boozier said in a statement this morning.

Garrett Krieg, Chris’s 27-year-old son, and his wife Tiffany recently announced they are expecting a child to make Chris and his wife Beth — a Jay School Board member — first-time grandparents. Garrett and Tiffany live in Columbus, and the elder Kriegs didn’t want to be held back in spending time with the new family addition.

“That is the reason,” Chris Krieg said. “I’ve missed out on a lot of things over the years. I don’t want to miss out anymore.

“I finally have put my family in front of coaching. As I look back on things, I can’t believe I did that but I did.

“I also had a very supportive wife who was behind me 100% of the time. She supported me from day one.”

Krieg was hired as the JCHS boys basketball coach prior to the 2015-16 season after longtime Patriot coach Craig Teagle resigned to take the same position at Huntington North. In his first season, Jay County was 17-7 and swept the Allen County Athletic Conference championships.

The Patriots also won the regular season conference titles in 2018 and ’19.

He coached the girls basketball team for five seasons prior to taking the boys job, and previously had served as an assistant under Teagle for nine seasons, an assistant for the JCHS girls team for three years and an assistant girls coach at Daleville for two years. He has also coach boys golf and junior varsity baseball at JCHS.

“Getting to coach at the school you played at, a lot of people don’t get to do that,” said Krieg. “That is an honor for me to have that opportunity.

“When I talked to the kids this morning … this was the second-hardest decision I’ve had to make. First was when I left the girls’ program.

“It’s hard. You get used to these kids. The kids are like your family. They are my family because I spend more time with than I do my own during basketball season.”

Boozier said this morning the athletics department will set up a timeline for hiring Krieg’s replacement and send it to superintendent Jeremy Gulley for final approval. The opening will be posted with the IHSAA and other avenues by Friday, and Boozier said he hopes to have the new coach hired by early May.

Applicants can send a resume to Boozier at sboozier@jayschools.k12.in.us.