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Basketball Coach Resigns After Parent Confrontations

Jason Scott

A high school basketball coach in Appleton, Wis., stepped down from his role this week after a confrontation with his players’ parents.

According to the Appleton Post Crescent, Appleton East boys' basketball coach John Mielke was confronted by players' parents at a local bar. The parents accused Mielke of being too hard on his players, and said that many no longer wanted to play for him.

Two days after the confrontation, Mielke resigned his post.

Frustration among parents reportedly set in after Mielke’s team lost to crosstown foe Appleton West on Friday. A small group of parents approached Mielke following the loss, where one of them called the team’s play “embarrassing.”

The team was scheduled to practice on Sunday morning, but instead a team meeting was called. It was there that Mielke told the team he was stepping down, and several coaches in the boys' basketball program followed suit.

The sudden move threw the team’s immediate future into question. A practice scheduled for Monday was postponed, and assistant Steve Coenen coached the team in a game on Tuesday. Coenen will reportedly finish out the season in an interim capacity.

“Coach Mielke is at peace with his decision,” Coenan told the Post Crescent following the game, in which Appleton East fell to Oshkosh North 72-35. “It’s uncharted waters, so we’re just going to take it day-by-day.”

Mielke had been in his 18th season with the program when he stepped down. During that time, he’d amassed a 207-197 record.

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