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home : sports : sports   April 29, 2016

9/24/2013 11:20:00 AM
Chlum: Coaches beware

Warning to high school coaches: Think long and hard before accepting a job at La Salle-Peru Township High School.

Because it appears accepting a coaching position at L-P significantly increases the chances of having your tenure end in controversy or termination.

More people pass through the L-P athletic department than a mall’s revolving door at Christmas time.

The latest coaching change may be the most ridiculous yet.

According to former L-P boys soccer coach Brian Robson, he decided to resign before he was dismissed over an ejection from a game — an act that warrants only a one-game suspension from the IHSA.

The board accepted his resignation at a special meeting last Tuesday.

It seems there should be more to the story than two ejections — Robson also was ejected from a game earlier in his four-year tenure — but the L-P administration and board is shrouded in more secrecy than the CIA, so the public is unlikely to ever receive an explanation. 

Robson is the sixth coach/administrator in the last three years to leave amidst controversy.

It started when boys basketball coach Scott Olson was dismissed in 2010 after three successful seasons. Olson wasn’t rehired due to his ability in the classroom although Olson said he received positive reviews.

Then it was Olson’s successor, Chad Hesterberg, who was not rehired after having an altercation with a student — never mind that the Department of Child and Family Services eventually cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Last year the ax came down hard as the board reassigned athletic director Greg Sarver, who was associated with the school for decades as a student, teacher, coach and administrator, and dismissed long-time coaches Bill Booker and Jake Burke.

Booker coached at L-P for more than 20 years without issue and has since been hired by two other local high schools and a professional baseball team. Burke obviously deserved his fate as his actions in the L-P football team information leak later revealed.

Is L-P simply the unluckiest school in the state with so many coaches/administrators committing egregious transgressions worthy of termination?

Or is it more likely that the school has an administration and board of education that is too concerned and overly involved with athletics?

The warning should be reiterated: tread lightly when considering a coaching position at L-P.

Kevin Chlum is the NewsTribune Sports Editor. He can be reached at 220-6939, or at Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Article comment by: Anonymous2933

Why is it that you can find everything out about a public employee (example salary, years, retirement, etc) and someone can't say he was fired for disciplinary reasons, or whatever it was?

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Article comment by: Willyemmy

I don't know if Mr. Chlum is unaware or just chooses to ignore the fact that no school district can discuss personnel matters in public. It is easy to criticize administrators and board members when you know that they can't defend themselves. The person who is being dismissed will always make sure that they look like a victim even when they know the real reasons. I guess it was a slow sports news day at the News Tribune.

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