Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Wouldn't you know it

Today I started investigating methods of funding the basketball program. We are talking serious methods that include signs in the gym and maybe even renaming the gym. I was psyched to get started on banging the phones for ideas and suggestions........

Then I heard the news about coaching for next year. Apparently there is a plan on the table to eliminate freshmen coaching salaries and cut back JV and Varsity coaching salaries in half for next year. Two years ago the coaching staffs at the high school fought very hard to get pay that is somewhere comparable to the pay to coaches in that are in our league. For years, I was paid half of what my 6 counterparts were paid and last year I was finally paid a wage that was within a few hundred dollars of the higher paid coaches in the league. Now the budget cutback gurus are thinking of slicing and dicing those as well.

Bad idea.

First off, coaches are one of the best teaching deals that money can buy. If you count only the hours that I work during the season (November to March), my hourly rate is about 57 cents. If you counted the Open Gyms, the camps, the clinics, the meetings, the scheduling, and the paperwork, I probably make under 10 cents an hour. Actually, if you include the hotel rooms and food I pay for during tournaments, the money I give to kids for lost dinner funds, and the scorebooks/whistles/clipboards I buy, I come out making nothing. For someone to teach real world life lessons and build relationships for their entire high school career, that's a hell of a deal.

Second, and more importantly, this town is very negative on the athletic program. I can tell you that when I ran into a variety of coaches regarding this news, the mass opinion was to sit back and watch the school district deal with a 1900 kid athletic program full of walk-on coaches. Athletics has been beat up over the last few years and I can easily see this as the final straw that might end any participation of teachers in athletics.

What would I do? Don't know yet since nothing is for sure. I can tell you that the information made me stop researching funding immediately. I do so much for my job for free already, and actually end up spending a hell of a lot of money (basketball, Model UN, supplying my own technology and materials). When you work your ass off, and do it well, and you're told that you aren't worth as much (especially when the Super gets a 5 G raise), the motivation factor falls through the floor.
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