1. Parents who get a coach fired after reprimanding their son for being late.
THE COACH: Leyland Rodgers, high school football coach in Gilbert, AZ.
WHY HE WAS FIRED: An anonymous parent complained to the school to accuse Rogers of improper verbal and physical treatment of players.
TRANSLATION: A parent got Rodgers fired for punishing their son for showing up late and skipping practice. Punishment was administered in the form of “up-downs,” a very common football drill. Rodgers also used profanity.
2. Parents who get the coach fired after inventing a scandal.
THE COACH: Chris Jewett, the varsity lacrosse coach Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA.
WHY HE WAS FIRED: A small group of anonymous parents hired a lawyer and claimed that Jewett “created a ‘pay-to-play’ scheme in which players felt forced to play on Jewett’s paid club team in order to get playing time on the varsity team, and gave preferential treatment and unequal playing time.”
TRANSLATION: Parents were angry that better players were playing over their sons. An investigation by the school district there found to be no evidence supporting the claims of the “pay-for-play” scheme or preferential treatment to certain players, but revealed that Jewett occasionally used profanities in practice. He has not been reinstated.
3. Parents who get a coach fired for being gay.
THE COACH: Mitch Stein, junior varsity water polo coach at Charter Oak HS in California.
WHY HE WAS FIRED: The school was given photos from an anonymous parent that the “school deemed as inappropriate photos of the openly gay coach taken at some non-school related events.” The pictures depicted Stein, fully clothed, in a picture with other men dressed in drag, as well as another photo of Stein about to eat a corn dog.
TRANSLATION: Stein was fired for being gay and the school appears to have confused being gay with pedophilia. There is no evidence of Stein ever behaving inappropriately with children. Stein lives with his partner and two daughters. He is currently suing for wrongful termination.
4. Parents who get a coach fired for swearing at their kid.
THE COACH: Bill Johnston, head basketball coach at Keane HS in New Hampshire.
WHY HE WAS FIRED: Johnston reportedly called a player a “lazy piece of shit” in practice; he says he was joking. The firing happened days after what he said was a glowing mid-season review.
TRANSLATION: Johnston’s successor became the school’s fifth basketball coach in seven years; this is a school with an itchy trigger finger.
5. Parents who get a coach fired for appearing in an R-rated movie 10 years ago.
THE COACH: Mike Hvizdo, head basketball coach at Weston HS in Connecticut.
WHY HE WAS FIRED: Hvizdo was fired after disgruntled parents discovered an R-rated 9-minute black and white short film that the coach appeared in a decade earlier. The film contained “some vulgarity and an adult theme but no nudity.”
TRANSLATION: Anonymous parents were “upset with the way their son was being treated as a WHS basketball player,” which could be a legitimate complaint, except they also cited being upset about their son’s playing time.
6. Parents who get a coach fired using an anonymous survey.
THE COACH: Darren McKay, head football coach at Gig Harbor HS in Washington.
WHY HE WAS FIRED: McKay, a beloved figure at the school, had just received a positive year-end review from the school’s athletic director when the results of an anonymous parent survey said that he should fire two of his assistent coaches, namely his father and brother. The school (that had just expressed their approval of McKay and the staff’s job that season) decided to back the parents and when McKay refused to comply, he was fired.
TRANSLATION: Parents didn’t like that McKay had his relatives coaching the team and only expressed their displeasure through an online survey. The survey backfired when the popular coach was fired after 12 years with a 77-41 record.
7. Parents who get the coach fired because his lineup was too ethnically diverse.
THE COACH: Joe McLoughlin, head basketball coach at Collingswood High School in New Jersey.
WHY HE WAS FIRED: The official reason was not disclosed, but the prevailing theory reported in news articles is that McLoughlin was fired for playing African-American players more than white players.
TRANSLATION: Racism. McLoughlin claims to have received pressure from school administration to give white players more playing time. After 14 years as head coach, a 225-130 record, six 20-win seasons and two state championships, he was fired.
8. Parents who get the coach fired for playing underclassmen over juniors and seniors.
THE COACH: Pete Birmingham, Marcellus HS baseball coach in upstate New York.
WHY HE WAS FIRED: After leading the Marcellus HS baseball team to a state championship in 2011, Birmingham was fired four games into the 2012 season after some parents took issue with Birmingham starting underclassmen over juniors and seniors. An anonymous parent said it was embarrassing for upperclassmen to sit on the bench.
TRANSLATION: Talented freshman, who were most likely better than the upperclassmen, played ahead of said upperclassmen. Parents complained. Birmingham was fired after nine years as head coach, less than a year after winning a state championship. The moral of the story? Sports parents suck.
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