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Help! Do I say anything or not? (long read sorry but needed)

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
290
43
I’m currently the JV HC in HS and I’m going out on a limb here.

I’m reasonably sure that neither the program HC nor the AD visit this forum and I have not mentioned it to either of them. It’s a bit wordy/long and requires some background. So here goes.

Background – We have 2 HS’s in our town I will call them “A” and “B”. I was invited to join a highly successful HS “A” program 10 years ago by the head JV coach. He saw me coaching a rec team and liked what I was doing in the way of drills and teaching skills. Very luckily my boss was open to me moving my hours during the season so I was in. Note - I was a volunteer that first year. I had to prove myself to the HC and other AC’s who had been there for 15 years.

At that time we had enough players (usually in the 40’s) to field 3 teams (Varsity, JV, and Freshman). At that time the program had won 5 conference titles in a row, made, 2 state appearances. In many years our JV team was better than most of the other conference varsities. It was a program that was always ranked near or at the top in our division (school enrollment).

The HC was also the football HC who ran a successful program also with conference and state championships. He had everyone’s respect. At the beginning of 2016 the AD hired a female teacher who played D3 softball as varsity AC. I never found out why but he did. After the 2016 season the JV HC at the time suffered a heart attack and passed away. I then became the JV HC. But even more unfortunate the HC contracted Leukemia and passed away during the season in 2017. One of the varsity AC’s ran the program for the rest of the year. In the winter of 2017, I got a call from the female teacher/coach. She tells me that she is the new HC and that the varsity AC’s had been dismissed. Let me say the varsity AC’s were good guys. I got along great with them, so I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. She grills me about my relationship with them. The conversation takes 20 minutes and I’m quite truthful because I figure I’m about to be let go. At the end of the 20 minutes she says if I ask you to stay on can you be loyal to me as the HC? After another 20 minute discussion I am (I believe conditionally) rehired. I guess I proved myself to her as I’m still here 4 years later.

After her first year the program begins to go downhill. By now we are now lucky to get 25 girls to go out, and many TB girls don’t go out. Worse yet HS “B” has become one of the top programs in the state. They have no problem with numbers.

Fast forward to today. I am having a beer with a couple of parents of recently graduated players. I am lamenting about the reduction in the number players when they drop the bomb. They tell me the reason the TB girls don’t go out is because they can’t stand the HC. She’s petty, points out individual errors, expects the players to mourn after each loss, and her AC is the same. I had no idea the players hated them and it’s not going to change because players talk. These parents say get rid of her and the numbers will go back up.

I don’t know what to do, if anything. I hate to see the program suffer but is it my place to say something? If they let her go am I tainted goods?

Help!
 
Aug 25, 2019
548
63
I don't think it's your place to say anything to anybody. The parents of top TB players should contact the AD and inform him/her that's the reason their DD is not playing school ball. If enough do that, maybe a change will come.
And why does the VC have a say in who the JV coach is?
 

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
290
43
I don't think it's your place to say anything to anybody. The parents of top TB players should contact the AD and inform him/her that's the reason their DD is not playing school ball. If enough do that, maybe a change will come.
And why does the VC have a say in who the JV coach is?
As the head of the program the VHC chooses all ACs.
 
Feb 12, 2020
4
3
Sorry to hear about the situation you are in. I'm not sure what I would do. I'm lucky that I don't have a lot of politics in my work so it is hard for me to understand the consequences of saying something. I guess it depends on how much this is bothering you and what your personal goals are. I don't know if I would go to someone above the coach unless you think it is getting to a level of legal harassment or abuse. If not I think I would try to have a conversation with the coach. or possibly ask for some advice. Like getting her opinion on how to give critical feedback to a player without getting to personal. Sometimes when someone gives you advice it will subconsciously make them think about how they are doing things too.

My guess is it won't change but at least in my heart I new I was trying to help.
Good luck.
 
Feb 25, 2020
391
43
It's about the players. They should be playing HS ball. Get her ass fired. She's taken years that will never be gotten back. Dont let her take more. Let the AD know and maybe have a good replacment in mind. Nobody cares who the girls softball coach is.
 
Oct 3, 2011
3,053
83
Right Here For Now
You know the old saying, "Not your monkey, not your circus?" This is where it applies. I agree the AD needs to know the situation but it's not your place to tell him/her.

IMO, if the AD were any good at their job, they'd be looking into the reason for the participation numbers dropping without having to be told in the first place.
 
Jun 20, 2015
79
18
Does the AD even know that numbers are down?? Depending on your relationship with AD, i might have a conversation lamenting falling participation numbers and ask if he/she knows what's happening. Maybe they are clueless? Maybe they know and don't care?

And just how in the world did this lady get installed and named head coach ahead of all the others involved with the program??
 
Dec 11, 2010
2,960
113
I am fascinated that the new hc was so deeply concerned with “loyalty“ to her. She put the cart before the horse for sure. A different perspective or approach could have resulted in her looking like a genius in her first few years as hc.

I think a closed door meeting has potential depending on your relationship with the AD. I think you have to go through that door prepared for the idea that you are probably almost done coaching there.

It is a shame for the players. At best they only get four years. They deserve the opportunity to be exposed to excellence and experience excellence. Good people and good coaches don’t grow on trees. In times where students have fewer and fewer adults able to show them how to act, schools miss opportunities to put students around good people capable of putting kids on a better trajectory for a variety of reasons.

Schools talk big talk about community involvement and improving the experience for students. When that happens, it often seems to be an accident.
 

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
290
43
Does the AD even know that numbers are down?? Depending on your relationship with AD, i might have a conversation lamenting falling participation numbers and ask if he/she knows what's happening. Maybe they are clueless? Maybe they know and don't care?

And just how in the world did this lady get installed and named head coach ahead of all the others involved with the program??
Well I have my suspicions.

The new coach was 26 at the time and all the men were at least 55. I believe the AD wanted a younger female because she could relate to the players better and was a player not too long ago.

The guy who ran the program the year the HC died told me he met with the AD and told him that the female was not ready to be a HC yet. He even offered to show her the ropes as it were for a year. I guess she wasn't open to that and said no, I'm ready now.
 
Feb 20, 2020
216
43
I think you could talk to her about some stuff you've seen on coaching videos, or maybe go to a clinic or two and bring that back with you. Ask her if she's concerned about the lack of TB players, and then try to come up with a strategy to recruit more of them. The best way to change a perception of someone is for them to act in contrary ways. If you've been together four years, she much have some level of trust for you.

have you seen the behaviors the parents are talking about? I know it's more time for you, but maybe ask for joint JV/ Varsity practices once a week, then you can see how she coaches and she can see how you do it. Maybe she'll like the things you do.

If you're not going to get the TB players, then really focus on development. Concentrate on making a team of girls who have come up through your program, girls who want to be there. make your team as fun as it can be -- make YOU a person girls want to play for. Maybe go to some TB games and do some 12-13-year-old recruiting, and build a strong JV team. If a coach is fired, the easiest thing for an AD to do is hire an a current assistant. Give the AD a reason to.

As for the AD, don't say anything. Make your team one that girls want to play for, and the the head coach is fired then make your case. But the varsity coach has shown paranoid tendencies, and if you talk to the AD it will get to her one way or the other. I think your best chance is to stay her ally until you don't want to be her ally anymore.

ETA: This popped up at me when I was in the shower. Why is the other HS surging? Are TB players going there?
i think the fact that parents talked to you about her is a red flag, but in a different direction than you are seeing. TB parents -- of of us excluded, of course -- have a tendency to overestimate their DD's skills and deservedness of playing time. She might be losing those players BECAUSE she's trying to run a fair team based on HS experience, not one based on TB experience. A collection of old guys have old connections they want to maintain with TB teams, and therefore give those girls preferential treatment. For example, i can't imagine girls who play at a high TB level getting butt hurt by a coach getting on them for errors, or expecting them to take losses seriously, unless they were predisposed not to like her for other reasons.

Now, she may be a petty ass. Our varsity coach is a petty ass. That happens more often than any of us may like. But the truth is that if she's been in the job four years, very few incoming players have experience with her -- they're just going off the TB reputation, passed on by parents and players who didn't like her -- or maybe wanted her job to go to someone they already knew and had relationships with. There's a decent chance she's not the actual bad actor here, and before you do anything you ought to consider that possibility.
 
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