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School panel mulls coaching

September 29, 2010
A look into school administrators serving as coaches has yielded arguments for and against the practice. During Tuesday’s meeting of the Warren County School District Board of Directors Personnel/Athletics and Co-Curricular Committee, members discussed the findings. The topic came under the informational items heading. Coordinator of District-Wide Athletics and Co-Curricular Activities James Miller said he surveyed 63 schools in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District 10. Of those, he said nine have administrators serving as coaches. Rocky Grove High School in Franklin even has its principal serve as head football coach, Miller said. He said most administrators serve as coaches at the discretion of their superintendents. Committee Member John Grant asked if Miller was proposing the district adopt the practice. Miller responded he only did the research after he was asked to do it. “I was trying to be objective,” Miller said. “I was fact finding.” Committee Chair Thomas Knapp said he brought up the possibility. The district has lost several coaches to administration positions, he said. If time constraints allow for an administrator to coach, Knapp said the district may have to have a policy covering the possibility. An administrator could put in for a coaching position, he said, but the person may not gain approval. Committee Member Jack Werner said no policy prevents an administrator from doing so. While true, Knapp said past practice has kept them from coaching. Despite the neutral nature of the work he undertook, Knapp said he had no problem with Miller expressing his opinion. As an administrator, Miller said he would find it hard to provide good, effective coaching. Some sports may allow for administrators to serve as assistants, Miller said, though the spring season poses challenges. Contests start at 4 p.m., he said, and require teams to leave at 1:30 p.m. for Erie events. Members planned to hold their next meeting following the Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at Warren County Career Center.


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