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Jason Cauley resigned as the Vista Ridge football coach on April 19. In his file photo from February 2021, Cauley stands with Vista Ridge players Ahmir Braxton and Keyon Burris, who signed National Letters of Intent to play football in college.

After two seasons at the helm of the Vista Ridge football program, Jason Cauley decided to step away to focus on providing for his family.

Cauley said the pandemic and budget cuts at Vista Ridge forced him to explore other employment opportunities, including overnight jobs as he continued to coach. He finally decided the long hours were taking a toll on his health.

“It was a hard decision and I had to think about it a lot,” Cauley said. “Right now, I have to do what is best for my family.”

Vista Ridge accepted his resignation Monday.

"We appreciate (Coach Cauley's) efforts in leading our football program and wish him the best in his future endeavors," said Vista Ridge athletic director Brandon Monson in a statement to The Gazette. "Vista Ridge will begin the process of searching for a head coach to lead our football program."

Cauley said he took the position at Vista Ridge in hopes of eventually earning a teaching job, but none opened. He said he is exploring other coaching and teaching opportunities in Colorado Springs and beyond.

“I figured this was the time for me to go and still give them time to get somebody in here in time,” Cauley said. “Whoever comes in is going to get a great group of kids. Really, it’s a gold mine.”

Among the biggest nuggets of talent is sophomore quarterback Brayden Dorman. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound gunslinger already has six Division I offers and a four-star rating from 247Sports. He has 3,737 passing yards and 37 touchdowns under Cauley.

Cauley has coached in multiple states, including Arizona, Kansas, Hawaii and Alabama. He came to Colorado Springs in 2019 and finished 5-5 in his first season and 3-2 in 2020.