Gable informed his players of his decision during a team meeting Thursday morning. He will coach the Ramblers in their final game of the season Friday night at home against Cass.
"This has nothing to do with the season we've had," said Gable, whose team, hit hard by graduation, is 1-8 going into Friday's night finale. "We knew this was going to be a tough season, but the kids have hung in there and I appreciate that."
"This has nothing to do with anybody," he continued. "It's just time. Like I told the players, coaching is an occupation where you just can't do it if your heart isn't completely into it. I have some family members with health concerns, and kids and grandkids spread out all over the state. I'm needed in other places now, and I'm really honored to be in a situation where I'm still able to help take care of my family."
Gable was hired at LaFayette in the spring of 2010 after spending three seasons coaching linebackers at Shorter University. He has a current record of 11-18 with the Ramblers. LaFayette went 5-5 in each of his first two seasons, but missed the state playoffs both times.
His overall coaching record is 137-112-6, with 109 of those wins coming in 16 seasons at Trion. He guided the Bulldogs to five Region 6-A titles and six state playoff appearances during that span, getting to the state quarterfinals on four occasions. He also coached briefly at Jefferson, Model, and Haralson County High Schools.
"I have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach Gable," said LaFayette High School principal Mike Culberson. "He's a fine man, a fine teacher, a fine coach, and a great mentor to these players and the other coaches. You'll never be able to replace his 42 years' worth of experience. I appreciate and respect the rationale behind his decision, and hopefully we'll find the right person to take us in a new direction."
Culberson said he hoped to have the job opening posted soon and that he hoped to have a new head coach in place no later than the end of January.
"I'm not all about wins and losses," Culberson added. "He's leaving this program in great shape, both on and off the field, and even financially. Everything he did here, he did with only the best interests of the kids and the program in mind."
"I told the folks at LaFayette when I took the job that if I wasn't able to continue giving everything I had to the program, then no one would have to tell me when it was time to go," Gable said. "I love the kids, and I'll miss them. I still plan on making LaFayette my home, and if they need me to help with anything with the school or the football program, I'll do it. But I know this is the right decision and I know the school will find the best coach they can for the kids."