Justin Armour is stepping down as football coach at Manitou Springs two years after returning to the program where he forged a legendary career on a path that eventually led to the NFL.

Armour said his mounting commitments made it too difficult to perform the extensive duties that go along with being the program’s head coach, but he would like to continue supporting the program in some capacity, even as an assistant.

“I'm not going anywhere and will still be a part of the program, just not Head Coach.” Armour, 39, said via email.


Employed by the Manitou Springs School District through the Partner for Healthy Choices organization, Armour has also owned the Crystal Park Cantina restaurant for the past year.

“I have too many commitments ... and more importantly I have two very young kids I love dearly and don’t want to miss all that they do growing up,” wrote Armour, who opted not to discuss his departure in detail for fear it would interfere with the process of finding a replacement.

The Mustangs went 3-7 in 2010, winning three of their final five games. The team suffered a rash of injuries this past fall and lost its final eight games, finishing 1-8.

Armour’s hiring made news two years ago, as he returned to a program where he was the star quarterback and carried the team to the 1990 state championship while starring in multiple sports. He then played at Stanford and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL draft and spent time as a wide receiver with the Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens.

Many envisioned the conquering hero spending 30-plus years atop the program, as his coach, George Rykovich, had.

But that will not be the case.

“We’ll miss him,” said Manitou Springs athletic director John McGee, who was the football coach for three years between the tenures of Rykovich and Armour. “He’s a great guy. He’s great with kids and the kids love him. But family and that kind of stuff has to come first. I understand; I did the same thing three years ago.”