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Policy Prevents Coaches from Piggybacking Seasons

Paul Steinbach

A new policy implemented by Dayton (Ohio) Public Schools that prevents individuals from serving as head coaches in successive sports seasons has been questioned, given the shortage of available coaches as is.

As reported by the Dayton Daily News, DPS athletic director Shawna Welch said the district no longer wants people to be head coaches in back-to-back seasons in most cases (fall and winter, or winter and spring). Both Welch and superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said those coaches don’t have enough time to focus on each sport, including preseason conditioning and athlete recruiting.

But others feel the rule will jeopardize entire sports teams if a replacement coach can't be found.

Earl White has coached both football and wrestling at Belmont High School for several years after more than a decade at Thurgood Marshall, according to the Daily News. But he said this year when he applied, he was told he could not coach wrestling. Belmont has had a small wrestling team the past few years, with less than five athletes competing at the sectional tournament.

Welch said only one other person applied for the Belmont wrestling coach position, which pays $5,807, but that person later withdrew their name, leaving no one to coach and a search was ongoing last week, six days after the practice season was supposed to have started. She added that she's awaiting a list of students interested in wrestling before she decides what to do.

Longtime DPS teacher and coach Brian Urquhart said the same situation will be in play at Meadowdale later this year, where Chad Miller has coached both girls' basketball and girls' track. Meadowdale’s track team has struggled the past few years, but Miller coached them to a state championship in 2014 and state runner-up finish in 2015. With Miller coaching girls basketball, Welch confirmed there is no coach currently in place for Meadowdale girls track.

Urquhart spoke out on the issue at Tuesday’s school board meeting, saying White and Miller are excellent coaches as well as strong role models, and should be allowed to coach.

“Our idea here is that we want people to build programs, not just coach,” Welch said. “If you’re building a football program, it’s something that you should be working on year-round, not just in the summer or in football season. … This might be an opportunity for Coach White to start to mentor a younger coach.”

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