Joe McCourt stepped down Thursday as Roman Catholic's head football coach after seven seasons, citing a difference in opinion with school administrators regarding current practice facilities and plans for the future.

"We tried to give our program some relevance," McCourt said. "That's why played the likes of Coatesville and Downingtown East. We wanted to be able to compete in the Catholic League against St. Joseph's Prep and La Salle.

"But it's tough when you don't have your own practice field. The kids have to walk more than a mile to River Field [at 24th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway]. Because of things like that, we're not getting some of the kids we used to get. It gets more and more frustrating."

McCourt, who starred as a running back at Roman (Class of 2001) and Lafayette, compiled a 42-37 record. The Cahillites went 5-6 overall and 1-2 in Catholic League Class AAAA action in the recently completed season.

"I have no ill feelings toward Roman," the 31-year-old said. "I can walk away with my head held high. Maybe someone can come in there and work better with the administration. I hope so. I love the kids at Roman."

McCourt totaled more than 3,300 rushing yards in high school. At Lafayette, he rushed for 4,474 yards and 50 touchdowns.

McCourt, who has two young children, said he intends to take the next year off to spend more time with his family.

"We thank Joe for his years of service and commitment to the program," Dan DiBerardinis, Roman's athletic director, said.