While many school districts are trying to figure out which athletic programs to eliminate in order to meet dwindling budgets, suburban Chicago's Proviso Township High School District 209 has decided to remove all of its high school sports coaches for the 2011-12 school year - but not because of a funding shortage.
According to an ESPN Chicago report, the personnel move is part of the district's school improvement plan. The positions are expected to be filled prior to the upcoming school year, says district spokesperson TaQuoya Kennedy, and current coaches will be allowed to re-apply for their positions.
"Our district is undergoing a major transition that includes school improvement and overall reconstruction," Kennedy told ESPN's Scott Powers. "It's not a budget issue. It's a school improvement issue. This is all about school improvement. Some of our athletic heads have done a fantastic job. Some of them will remain the same. At the end of the day, this is about our students and making sure they have the best of the best."
Coaches in the district reportedly were caught off guard by the announcement. "I don't know what direction they're going in," Proviso East varsity boys' basketball coach David Chatman said. "All we got is a notice that every head coach … is going to have to apply for their job again. That's all I know. Everybody is in limbo right now."