In the town west of me, there is a controversy that’s been going on for quite a while. They have a football team at the high school that has a pretty gruesome record. One of their games in a recent season was a 54-0 loss.
So in 2009, after a few losing seasons with no improvement, the administration voted to fire the football coach. So the football coach turned around and sued the administration for wrongful termination. The court found in favor of Wall, the coach, and the school appealed. Just this week, the Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the decision, that a win-loss record was not enough justification to terminate the coach.
Some pertinent information:
- It does not say in any article I could find, but I heard on a radio discussion about this topic that Wall has held his position as the schools Math Teacher throughout this dispute. He was only terminated as the coach.
- Wall says that he tried to work with some of the suggestions for team improvement provided by the administration, but some were not feasible, like the suggestion to hold off-season weight-training sessions. This activity is against the rules for high school students.
- Also discussed on the radio was the fact that the school has spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $100K defending itself in this case. This is a public school.
So what do you think? Do you think that a school should have the right to fire a coach from that position based solely on a win/loss record? Or is that just one part of the whole, and his entire ‘coaching picture’ be taken into consideration? (that would mean things like motivating students, building team spirit, expanding the team, fair play, etc.)