Saturday, April 28, 2012


A good coach is just as important as a good teacher.  Actually, a good coach IS a good teacher, except that the coach is teaching much more in the realm of life skills that can make a greater impact than the teacher that is teaching those subjects that students don’t really care about; in my case Math, Science, and anything having to do with Performing Arts. 

I usually don’t write about too many coaching issues in Northern California because rarely is any situation as clear as the fishwrap presents.  Newspapers love anything with controversy and coaching because it is guaranteed to get views and comments from crazy parents that insist on having “the inside scoop.”  I write today about the current situation at Miramonte High School in Orinda, California because it is the ultimate example of why coaching is rarely about being a good teacher.  As Kevin McCarthy puts it, the Matador varsity basketball coach (Dave Brown) was fired for doing his job.  In this case the very successful coach (who instituted among other things, a community service program) looks to have been sacked because he didn’t give enough playing time to the principal’s son, who apparently had rode the pine one to many times.  

Ouch.  This situation has “ugly” written all over it, and further justifies the need for someone to start figuring out why coaching jobs in wealthville involve a revolving door.  Coaching in Orinda (the location of Miramonte High) is no walk in the park.  The town could be one of the richest areas in Northern California and the community is well known for California Shakespeare Theater, outstanding Water Polo teams, and the distinction of being able to posse up enough grief to run basketball coach after basketball coach out of town.     The man who steps into Coach Brown’s (the other one) former position is probably going to have plenty of talent.  However of the specter of some bored parent is going to be forever standing over the athletic program at Miramonte.  So will the principle, calmly tapping the coach on the shoulder reminding him that his son’s playing time is a contractual obligation. 

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