By JEROD CLAPP
Left with standing room only, parents, players, boosters and others asked West Clark Community Schools’ board of trustees why a head football coach hasn’t been hired at Silver Creek High School yet.
At Thursday’s meeting, the board room was full of Dragons and their supporters to find out if a coach would join their ranks in the midst of conditioning season.
Mike Donahue left the position last November. Laura Garrett, with the Silver Creek Football Boosters, told the board that as more students start strength training, they need a leader they can develop relationships with.
“I’m asking you as a school board to recognize the passion and excitement in this group of kids,” Garrett said. “Instead of thinking about it as football, think of it as something as generating excitement and enthusiasm in a group of 50 teenagers.”
Monty Schneider, superintendent, said he understood the concerns of everyone in the room, but the decision was one to be made by the principal, Mike Crabtree and athletic director, Larry Richmer.
But the idea having a coach that was also a teacher in the building was an idea shared by parents and administrators. After the meeting, Schneider said it’s difficult for that to happen without a faculty opening.
He also said Donahue was not a faculty member at the school while he was coaching.
After the meeting, Richmer said applications have come in for the job and interviews could start in two or three more weeks. But he said they want to find a candidate that can serve both as a coach and a teacher.
“We understand their concern. But again, that was also a concern expressed by [the boosters] that we have a teacher in the building,” Richmer said. “We do not have any in-house or in-school candidates. We have no teachers at Silver Creek High School that have expressed an interest.”
He said it’s important to administrators that students begin bonding with a new coach as soon as possible, but they need to find a faculty opening first.
“We hope it can be before school’s out,” Richmer said “The earlier the better, but at the same time, you can’t get a teacher in the building if there’s not a teaching opening.”
Schneider said it’s possible as the school year comes to a close, retirement notifications will begin coming in. With that, they can begin telling applicants what teaching positions they’d have available to them.