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Branch resigns as coach after 3 seasons

A year after searching for a girls coach, the Oxford High soccer program will now have to do the same thing for the boys team.

Head coach Jonathan Branch turned in his resignation due to what Oxford athletic director Mike Martin called “personal reasons” Monday afternoon and will no longer coach the Chargers. He will remain at Oxford through the end of the school year to honor his contract.

“Unfortunately, soccer has consumed me more than I planned,” Branch said. “I spent so much more time working on soccer than working at home.”

Branch and his wife are expecting a baby boy in the coming weeks. It will be their second child. Not being around to help with a newborn child was more than Branch could stand, which prompted the resignation.

“Neither my wife nor me have our parents up here, so it’s hard for us when she is working and I have practice and games,” Branch said. “I don’t want my wife to have to raise two kids by herself.”

During his time with the Chargers, Branch went 36-25-4 and took his team to the playoffs three times. The most recent postseason appearance was this season when Oxford made it to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs before being ousted by Germantown for the second year in a row.

“He talked to me about it, and it did take up a lot of his time,” Martin said. “He did an outstanding job. A truly outstanding job. He did all of our scheduling for our middle school and high school. Every facet of our program he was involved in some shape, form or fashion because I was so new coming in. He was a very important cog to me.”

With the vacancy a day old and the soccer season having concluded earlier this month, there is not an immediate rush to fill the coaching spot.

Martin said he will notify the Oxford School District assistant superintendent of Branch’s departure today and begin the search process at a job fair the Oxford School District will have early next month.