WHEELING - When Meredith Dailer found out last year she was pregnant, she knew her time as the girls' basketball coach at Wheeling Park may be coming to an end.
Tuesday it did.
Dailer turned in her resignation, ending a successful five-year stint on the Wheeling Park sideline in which the Patriots advanced to three straight appearances in the West Virginia State Girls' Basketball Tournament in Charleston.
''I saw it coming and with a beautiful little girl taking up so much of my life, I didn't want to miss any more time not being around her,'' Dailer said. ''I don't believe in doing things halfway and a job like this requires a lot of time. I couldn't give my all to it and that is not how I do things.''
Dailer's daughter, Tessa, was born last March shortly after the Patriots were eliminated in the Class AAA semifinals to Bridgeport.
The WVSSAC allows coaches to work with their players for three weeks in the summer so Dailer got a taste of what to expect recently as the Patriots competed in the Wheeling Recreation Girls Shootout.
''I felt like I needed to feel it out and I also thought I owed it to them to be coached during these three weeks,'' Dailer said. ''It was something that popped into my mind when I knew I was expanding my family so I need to make sure.''
In her third season after taking over from Dee Davis, Dailer led the Patriots to the state tournament for the first time since 2002.
After back-to-back first-round exits in 2010 and 2011, Wheeling Park defeated Morgantown in the quarterfinals before bowing out to the Indians.
Making this an even tougher decision for Dailer is that many of the key players from that squad, including All-Valley first-teamers Emily Puskarich and Haley Robb, are returning for their senior seasons as many will have Wheeling Park as one of the favorites heading into next season.
''I am really proud of where the program is today,'' Dailer said. ''When I first got here, they weren't as competitive, but the wealth of talent we've received has been pretty special.
''It's always hard to leave good players but I feel really good about the success they have had and I believe they will be successful no matter who the coach is.
''Some of them were really surprised but this was in the air from the beginning. Many of them already knew that I might not return.''
Wheeling Park has also won consecutive OVAC championships.
Dailer, who came to Wheeling Park after successful stints as a coach and player at Fairmont Senior, hasn't closed the door on her basketball coaching career, but is more focused on more important things.
''I have been a coach since I was 19 so it's time to see what life is like without it,'' she said. ''Basketball brought me to Wheeling, I met my husband through basketball, and I will never regret anything.
''I will always be involved with basketball somehow, whether it be with travel leagues and summer leagues, and I am definitely going to be there to watch these kids play.''
Dailer will remain at Wheeling Park as a history teacher.