The area's second winningest high school football coach wanted no muss or fuss.
So when 77-year-old Frank Negri stepped down at Natomas a few weeks after a winless 2011 season, there was no news release or public announcement.
That's because Negri, doesn't consider it a retirement.
He still wants to be a head coach, though no longer at the struggling high school in the nearly bankrupt Natomas Unified School District.
"Natomas gave me a chance, and I appreciate it," said Negri, who is believed to be California's oldest active high school football coach. "We gave them a couple of good years, but things didn't work out last season."
Negri, who coached at Foothill for 42 seasons until 2006, turned around a struggling Nighthawks program that had gone 1-9 for four consecutive seasons.
In his first season in 2009, Natomas finished 6-5 4-1 in the Tri-County Conference and made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. The Nighthawks went 4-6 in 2010 but tumbled to 0-10 last season.
Natomas finished with 17 players, including 11 seniors.
"Those 17 battled their butts off," Negri said.
Negri started the season with 32 players. But eligibility and disciplinary issues trimmed the team by nearly half by the end. The freshman team was dropped to bolster the junior varsity.
"The school has some problems that are really tough to overcome declining enrollment, a lack of funding," said Negri, whose 248 wins are second to Max Miller (257) among area football coaches. "The district has open enrollment and there are charter schools that are taking kids away from Natomas."
The Natomas athletic program also is overshadowed by its younger sister school Inderkum, which in football has won five consecutive Tri-County Conference titles and is 71-14 in coach Terry Stark's seven seasons at the school.
Stark coached Natomas before moving to Inderkum.
"I thought Frank did a really good job," Stark said. "He brought in a good staff that had worked with him at Foothill. The kids played hard, knew what they were doing and there was a big improvement in their discipline.
"Even this year's team played us tough for as long as they could before attrition wore them out in the second half."
Natomas athletic director Anthony Agrella was sorry to see Negri go.
"I had hoped that he would come back and try to get that 250th win, but he decided it was time to step down," Agrella said in an email. "We have put in the request for the position with the district office and are waiting for it to be posted."
Negri said when he took over the Natomas football team, it was $5,000 in the hole. He said the program now has a $6,000 surplus, newer uniforms and upgraded equipment, including two blocking sleds and a storage shed.
"We left it in good shape," said Negri, a member of Oregon State's 1957 Rose Bowl team. "We made the program self-sufficient through fundraisers."
Though he knows his age is likely to work against him, Negri said he'd be interested in running a program, as long as it's not too far from his Roseville home.
"I still have energy to do it, the brains to do it and the staff to do it," said Negri, who had Foothill's belatedly built football stadium named in his honor in 2006. "I've still got the fire and brimstone. I feel like I'm 27."