Hardy Nickerson has stepped down as Bishop O'Dowd High's football coach.

Nickerson, a former Cal and NFL star, had a 29-17 overall record and 18-6 mark in league and conference play in four seasons at the helm for the Dragons. This season, the Dragons were 3-7 overall and 2-3 in West Alameda County Conference-Foothill Division play.

In 2010 and 2011, Nickerson led Bishop O'Dowd to Hayward Area Athletic League titles with 7-0 league records. In his first two seasons, he also coached his son Hardy Nickerson Jr., who is now a linebacker at Cal.

"I felt like there were other things that I wanted to pursue that are not football-related," Nickerson said. "Bishop O'Dowd has been great. The administration has been great."

He also said that he had "a great time coaching the kids" and that his passion is coaching.

"We are sad to see Hardy leave us. He has been a great support to our school -- both on and off the field. This is a man who cares deeply about the integrity and academic success of every player," said Bishop O'Dowd Principal Pam Shay on the school's web site.

Follow Phil Jensen on Twitter at Twitter.com/JensenPhil



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