Coaches beware: Healdsburg high school admin does not like coaches, story from Healdsburg Press Democrat, comments by Larry Eder

A few weeks ago, I was having an adult beverage with a friend. We were chatting about how some companies and some institutions will look at a position or group of positions and believe that they can do it better. " I fly on airplanes a lot, ' said my friend, " that does not mean that I can run an airline."

Coaching high school athletes is, in some ways, like herding cats. You can throw so much technique at them, work them hard, but in the end, it is all about the encouragement and life lessons. Teen agers listen to their own drummers. A successful high school sports coach understands that.

The following article in the local Healdsburg Press Democrat is a case in point. Hiding behind press releases suggesting that they are looking out for their students and parents, instead of self serving decisions which, if one has done a bit of research, might suggest an administration that has forgotten who they serve and what they are actually there for. The coach in question, who has run a small program with much success for 13 years, and has been named coach of the year twice, was fired with no advance warning. This would be sad, and it is, but it seems to be the modus operandi of this administration. They actually fired a recent AD twice. 

Parents and athletes should file a complaint with the local district against the school administration if they believe it is warranted. In the mean time, as a former coach, I would gently suggest to coaches local to Healdsburg be quite careful in supporting a school administration that does not seem to support coaches or the athletic administration. 

The superintendent, Jeff Harding, and Principal Chris Vanden Heuvel, seem to be covering up something. Vanden Heuvel noted that parents play no roles in determining staffing, which is just silly. Perhaps some parents were upset that their kids were not playing. Sorry, parents, that happens. Not every athlete is going to make varsity, and the kids know that better than parents. 

The article suggests that an inordinate amount of fine coaches were let go, and this seems the case. Sad when somebody decides to conduct a witch hunt. The way Healdsburg coaches were let go does suggest someone was complaining and the administration caved in. 

We will keep an eye on this story. Perhaps the superintendent and the principal will come to their senses, but having read the past histories of 
departed coaches, that is highly unlikely. 

In sports, athletes learn life lessons. What life lesson has the Healdsburg administration taught the community on this one? 

I would welcome comments from either community, please send to [email protected]

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