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North Medford football coach resigns

North Medford head football coach Nate Becksted resigned this afternoon. His resignation is effective immediately.

Assistant Tom Powell will serve as North's interim coach for the remainder of the season. Becksted will continue to work as a physical education teacher at North.

In a school press release, Becksted said "that the work required to rebuild the North Medford program has taken a more significant toll on him and his family than he had anticipated."

The press release continued: "He felt that the best option for the athletes would be for him to step aside now. He appreciates the strong support that the athletes, the parents and the school have given him."

The Black Tornado is 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the Southwest Conference. North has two regular-season games remaining on its schedule — a home game against Roseburg this Friday and a road contest against Thurston next Friday.

(Correction: The name of the conference has been corrected in this story.)

Becksted replaced Jeff Olson, who resigned in November after five seasons. He had nine years of head-coaching experience, including the past five at Heritage High in Vancouver, Wash. Before that, he was at Willits (Calif.) High for four season. His career record is 51-39.

Becksted resigned at Heritage in December, citing his family's desire to find a coaching position closer to their two young children's grandparents in northern California.

This is Powell's seventh season coaching at North. He has coached football for over 30 years, including 19 seasons at Southern Oregon University.

The school will conduct a search for a permanent head coach during the offseason.

In the release, North Athletic Director Tim Sam thanked Becksted for his work.

The Black Tornado made the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, but hasn't had a winning campaign since the 2005 team went 8-4 in the old Southern Oregon Conference.

— Dan Jones