MERIDIAN — Meridian High School head football coach Mike Virden is stepping down after his second go-around with the Warriors.

"It was a tough decision," Virden said. "I think what we did in there in just this one year is awesome. [The program] is in a really healthy spot right now."

Virden led the program from 2003 to 2006 and led the Warriors to the 5A state football title in 2005.

Prep preview: Meridian Warriors

The Warriors will have 17 starters back next fall.

"The kids are great and we have a great group of seniors coming back."

Virden took over for Porter Lacey, who stepped down last fall after five seasons with the Warriors.

HIGHLIGHTS: Meridian vs. Eagle