Commentary by Dick Gallagher: "Parents are Driving Coaches Out of the Profession"

11:50 AM, Sep 21, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

In 2012, Section VI and Western New York lost 2 outstanding coaches to retirement in Alden's Dick Diminuco and Randolph's Pat Slater. Diminuco coached for 35 years (31 for Albion, 4 for Alden) where he compiled a record of 243 wins and 71 losses which included 5 sectional titles and a far west regional championship. Slater coached at Randolph for 34 years, accumulating a record of 214 wins, 99 losses, and 4 ties which included 3 state titles and 8 sectional championships.

At one time, coaching was a profession that lasted for over 20 years for the majority of coaches in many sports. This trend has changed dramatically in the past several years as many outstanding coaches in all sports resigned their positions because they stopped enjoying the experience. The main reasons were interference by administrators, school board members, parents, and the lack of dedication of many players. This included their lack of respect for authority and the game. Add to this their family and other job commitments, it's no wonder the coaches leave, even though they still have a passion for coaching and love the game.

The most disturbing reason is the behavior of the parents, many of whom never played the game. They complain about their son's playing time, the coaches play calling, and game plan. If they know a school board member, they will contact him or her and get them involved. It becomes a public relations disaster for everyone. In the majority of cases, the board members are clueless regarding the sport and the current team.

One suggestion to reverse this trend is for the school to adopt the following policy and philosophy regarding their athletes:

Coaches coach.

Players play.

Boosters boost (not complain or whine).

Referees referee.

Cheerleaders cheer.

Bus drivers drive.

Parents cheer and support.

Time keepers operate the clock.

Statisticians keep statistics.

Athletic directors oversee the program.

Each group has their own responsibilities but to have a great program, one has to make sure no group overextends their boundaries and interferes with other groups.

This type of philosophy and policy would stop much of the negative behavior that is going on today and be a positive stop in ensuring that quality coaches remain on the job.

Consider that in 2013, twenty-nine (including 5 new head football coaches) of the 75 coaches will have less than 3 years experience as a head coach and that number increases to 42 who have less than 6 years experience.

The deans of head football coaches are:

Bob Krenzer, Sherman/Pine Valley, 35 years

John Faller, Sweet Home, 27 years

Angelo Sciandra, Cardinal O'Hara, 25 years

Jerry Smith, St. Francis, 25 years

Mike Kane, Olean, 24 years

Current head football coaches experience follows:

1-3 years - 25 schools

4-6 years - 13 schools

7-10 years - 8 schools

11-15 years - 10 schools

16-20 years - 7 schools

21-25 years - 5 schools

26-30 years - 2 schools

21-35 years - 1 school

Note: There are 5 new head coaches this year.

Suggestion to parents: Stop complaining and enjoy your child's journey in sports.

Most Watched Videos