A legend is leaving...

One of the biggest names in Tri-State high school football is hanging up his whistle.

After 25 years and six state championships Illini West Head Coach Jim Unruh will announce his retirement at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

KHQA confirmed Unruh's intentions to resign with Athletic Director Joey Dion Wednesday afternoon.

Unruh began coaching at Carthage with the BlueBoys in 1986.

He will retire with a 256-45 record with 24 playoff appearances and 10 state championship game appearances.

In the four years since the formation of Illini West, Unruh's teams went 47-4 and have won 40 of the last 41 games he coached.

Unruh has been inducted intoIllinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Back in December, Unruh was named Sportsman of the Year.

That's when KHQA asked him about the possibility of retirement.

"After you get to 20 years into coaching you start looking at, when are you going to stop coaching. A wise coach once told me, it's time to give it up when you quit being nervous before games. I can tell you right now, before that Stillman Valley game I really thought I was going to have to go puke. I still get very excited about football games, very nervous for football games, but it sure is a lot of fun," said Unruh.

Two-a-day practices for the 2011 season begin August 10, which gives Illini West three weeks to find a head coach.

Once again an official announcement will come from Coach Unruh Wednesday afternoon at 2:00PM.