Opinion: The reality of a Fired Coach

paulb

12/31/19

Eli Sports writes and reports many of our own stories but we also like to share great reporting and stories of other talented sports writers. We love to share pieces and the many stories on High School kids but we also like to share general sports stories that we find compelling. This is one of those and it’s an inside look as to what it’s like to be fired from one of the most 32 rarest of occupations, an NFL Head Coach. Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell posted this piece called “What its like to be fired as an NFL Coach”.

We think there is some valuable insight to remember when a Coach is asked to leave a program they are trying to build and certainly worthy of consideration when you think about firing High School coaches. It’s not a bad thing to remember when you call for someone to get fired that it impacts real people in a real way. Certainly there are valid reasons for letting a coach go such as cheating, doing something illegal, inappropriate behavior to name a few. But when you ask for the coach to be fired simply because they have not won enough is when there needs to be a real look at what is happening.

No coach is there to lose but not everyone can win and not everyone can or should go to the play-offs and certainly winning a State Championship is an achievement that is not common. In a series of stories we had a few years ago when Tumwater’s Head Coach Sid Otton retired as the winningest Football coach in State History with 5 Titles at Tumwater and 1 State Championship from Colfax prior to taking the T-Birds job, Otton was 7-20 after his first 3 years and didn’t win his first State Championship until his 13th season at Tumwater. In fact didn’t go to the Semi-Finals until his 12th season. The question we asked when we wrote this piece is would Otton had been allowed to become the winningest coach now days or would have the ridiculous expectations thrown on coaches and programs in High Schools have sent him on his way before he could finish his work and vision to what has become one of the most admired sports program in the State.

The point of the series was to show what it takes to build a winning program, a culture of expectation and a coaching staff that is constantly a revolving door will never end in success. When you think you have the right person for the job it’s time to support and back that coach instead of looking for the quick and immediate results especially in High School sports where coaches have to compete with the athletes there and we’ll end this with a harsh reality…very few kids are legitimate D-1 athletes, no matter who tells you different. The truth is, your kid maybe is a good High School athlete and nothing more so let them enjoy their time in High School, playing for a coach trying their best to win but hopefully teaching your kids lifelong lessons they can use in the real world and not the pretend world high school sports continues to plummet where everyone is a D-1 athlete or has the potential to being a D-1.

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