Al Minnaert, the winningest high school football coach in city of Madison history, has decided to step down after 26 years as Madison Edgewood’s head coach.

Minnaert’s announcement turned the Crusaders’ postseason banquet on Wednesday night into an emotional tribute.

Edgewood’s athletic director, Chris Zwettler, confirmed Minnaert’s resignation — which came of his own accord — on Wednesday night.

“He’s hanging up his shoes as our head coach,” Zwettler said.

Reached by telephone late Wednesday, Minnaert said he was withholding comment until a future date.

Minnaert went 155-115 at Edgewood, including a 1-8 finish as the smallest school in the Badger South Conference this season.

Prior to coming to Edgewood, Minnaert won 47 games while coaching from 1984 to 1991 at the now-defunct Holy Name Seminary, giving him a total of 202 wins coaching Madison high school programs.

That total ranks just above Madison West legend Burt Hable’s 199 career victories. It includes a 13-14 record in the WIAA playoffs and a trip to the Division 3 semifinal round in 2011.

After joining the WIAA in 2000, Minnaert’s teams made the playoffs 14 of 17 years.

Minnaert’s coaching career started with three years at his alma mater, Annawan, Illinois, including two years as head coach.

Minnaert is a shoo-in to be inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame in March. He was named the Green Bay Packers Coach of the Week after leading the Crusaders to a 21-20 victory over Mount Horeb/Barneveld in the quarterfinals of the 2011 WIAA Division 3 football playoffs.

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