My Column 2 weeks ago, asking the question, “Are Coaches Hired to be Fired or Not Rehired? and this weeks column talking about Evaluating Coaches at Any Level are certainly timely as the start of the firing or not rehiring of high school basketball coaches has already started and probably will continue well into the late spring.
The latest situation in Washburn is one where a coach who has won two consecutive class D Girls Championships has not been rehired.
In other words he was fired, not being rehired is the administations polite way of soft pedaling and soft soaping firing.
Because no reason(s) was given for the firing then under the Maine State Law of Stipend Contracts (one year contracts) for coaches no reasons have to be given, becasuse if reasons are given then the coaches have a right for a hearing to hear the reasons and can fight them if he/she so wishes.
So only rumors, inudendo’s and suppositons can be arrived by as no one really knows the reasons except the parties that did not want the 2 coaches rehired.
Tomorrow’s article in the BDN or on my Blog today deals with the Evaluation of coaches to be recommended to be rehired on a year to year basis. It is the Evaluation Procedure, methods and tool used when I was the Athletic Administrator at Bangor High school for 5 years and at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor for 11 years.
In fact, the main reason I retired in 2000 from John Bapst was that the administration wanted to fire one of my coaches becuse of Parental Pressure and I as the athletic director had given him a positive evaluation, so I told them if you fire the coach then I was done as athletic director and boys basketball coach. They ignored my evaluation and fired the coach so I retired immediatly on the spot.
Something has got to be done to protect coaches from parental pressures that have to do with playing time, squad selections, team strategy or taling about other players. Some schools have these “4 Cardinal Rules” that parents can not discuss with any school personal about the above 4 areas. Parents have to sign the school contract for parents. players coaches and schools stating that they will not break the “4 Cardinal Rules”.
However, only a very few of the over 135 high schools in Maine Private or Public have these “4 Cardinal Rules” in their contracts. These rules protect the coaches from the parent wishes to violate these 4 Cardinal Rules.
Other than that there are situations where coaches get positive recommendations from their Athletic directors, principals and superintendents and are still not rehired by the school committee, school board, board of trustees, etc. because of parental influence and pressure on these education leaders in these organizations.
The MABC (Maine Association of Basketball Coaches) or the MPA (Maine Principals Association) has done anything to help coaches in these situations.
The least that should be done is the reasons should have to be stated why the coach was fired or not rehired, so that the coach could have some recourse to challenge the firing or not rehiring decision.
Once school teachers have tenure (usually after 3 years of positive evaluations) then they are very well protected from not being rehired or fired unless they do something very unethical or morally wrong.
Athletics were put into the educational curriculum in the early 1900’s. “TO TEACH THE LIFE LESSONS AND LIFE SKILLS THAT COULD NOT BE TAUGHT OR LEARNED IN THE ACADEMIC CLASSROOMS OF THE SCHOOLS.
If schools really believe in this and that it is in their educational Missions Statement then it is an very important part that the academic part of education cannot do as well as athletics for the students overall education and these schools that do not have the “4 Cardinal Rules’ or a sound evaluative Tool for Coaches should consider them as it is only fair that coaches know the reason that they are fired or not rehired.
How would you like it if you could be fired without due process of knowing why?
Isn’t time for the MPA and the MABC and all other Maine Coaches Associations to step forward to recommend the “4 Cardinal Rule Policy” so that coaches are protected from parents that are unhappy about playing time or squad selection and whine to Boards of Education that listen to them and cave in to the parents emotioanl demands about playing time/squad selection and in some cases even over-ride the schools AD’s and principals positive reommendations to rehire coaches every year.
If nothing is done to protect coaches from unhappy and unreasonable parents/guardians and this trend continues to fire or not rehire coaches without having to give any Reasons will drive more coaches out of coaching but even more of a problem it will be even harder and harder to find people to replace these coaches, who want to go into coaching at any level.
I guess my column’s article 2 weeks ago answer to the question is YES, THAT COACHES ARE HIRED TO BE FIRED OR NOT REHIRED.