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Clare’s Luplow Retires After 34 Seasons as Head Football Coach

CLARE — After 34 seasons as the Clare football head coach, Kelly Luplow has retired.

He remembers his first four seasons as a head coach, beginning with the 1987 season.

“You know, my first three years coaching here, we were 6-3 (every year), and Walt Schwarz, the then superintendent, called me in and said, ‘Do I have to call you 6-3 Luplow or what?’ I just laughed. I said, ‘Maybe.’ I said, ‘I’ll try to get better.’ So the following year we went 1-8,” Luplow said with a laugh.

After that, Clare had just two losing seasons in the next 30 years. He finished his career with a 251-95 record, leading Clare to 20 Jack Pine Conference titles and plenty of success in their 24 playoff appearances.

The Pioneers won four district titles, a pair of regional championships and made a trip to the state championship in 2009.

He’s now ready to spend more time with his family.

“My wife has been just a trooper,” Luplow said. “I married her in 1982 and first year, I started coaching. And she’s been on this journey with me all the way through. And then, of course, having triplets through all that and they’re all coaching.”

Despite not coaching, he said he won’t stay too far away from the football field.

“I graduated from this school. I’ve coached here for 40 years, and like I said in the letter of my resignation, I’ll bleed green and white ’til the day I die,” Luplow said. “So I’m not going anywhere.”