The Board of Education’s policy committee is currently considering a new policy on the termination and non-renewal of athletic coaches after a new state mandate gives coaches who have been in their position for three years more rights to their job.
Assistant Superintendent Craig Powers summarized it as before, when the school district didn’t want to retain an athletic coach, it would just move on after the end of the season. However a new state mandate gives coaches who have been with a team three years “almost tenure rights,” according to Powers.
The new legislation also gives coaches a more formalized and in-depth evaluation system where the coaches evaluate themselves and then are evaluated by the athletic director. Waterford Athletic Director David Sousa explained that an evaluation system already exists, although this new evaluation system is longer and involves the coach making specific goals for themselves.
The policy still needs to be approved by the Waterford Board of Education before it can be implemented. Powers said he hopes to get that done by the end of the school year.
The existing policy on the termination and non-renewal of athletic coaches is relatively short. It said that if a coach with at least three years experience at that position does have the right to appeal a non-renewal or termination of the coach to the Board of Education, but also gave the right for the Board to terminate “a coaching contract at any time for any reason.”
Now, there are specific guidelines listed as possible reasons for terminating or not renewing a coach. The policy states the superintendent can remove a coach “for reasons of moral misconduct, insubordination, failure to comply with the Board’s policies, rules and regulations; or because the sport has been cancelled.”
Also, the hearing process is far more laid out for athletic coaches who have been at the position for three years. The coach again will be given a hearing with the Board of Education, where the coach would have to prove the Board’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious.”