Jan 16, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
In an effort to hire the most qualified, certified coaches for its athletic programs, the Skaneateles school district is updating its procedures and guidelines for the hiring process.
The hiring procedure review is one that is certainly overdue, said school board vice president Kate Coggswell, but she conceded that the issue came up in recent months because of the football program controversy last year, which revolved around then-head coach Tim Green and ended with his resignation.
“This is a developing plan, a review of the current plan to make a better, more effective hiring practice,” Coggswell said.
Skaneateles Athletic Director Stacey Tice, who has spearheaded the project along with a committee of other district administrators, presented the new guidelines and procedures to the board at its Jan. 10 work session.
The philosophy of the athletic department is that athletics is an important component of the overall district. Coaches must foster personal attributes in their student-athletes as well athletic ones, and sports must be “tied to commencement exercises and grounded in educational goals,” Tice said.
These personal attributes, as listed in a printout of the new procedures that were given to each school board member at the meeting, included a team approach, a strong work ethic, time management skills, accountability, sportsmanship and attention to details.
The guidelines state that while victory is a part of competition, the goal of athletic programs is to help create and foster better citizens by teaching positive life skills and values.
“The number of victories is only one criterion in determining a season’s success,” the guidelines state. “The coaching staff must teach student athletes to prepare their minds and bodies in order to reach their maximum potential, and to be modest in victory as well as steadfast in defeat.”
To create the actual hiring guidelines, Tice consulted with nine other area athletic directors to learn the philosophies and experiences of other districts, such as Fayetteville-Manlius, Marcellus, Cazenovia and Solvay. She said those meetings lasted anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.
The more experienced ADs told Tice to do annual reviews of the coaches, and to create contracts and hiring procedures that will serve and protect the administration and the board of education if the process “gets out of control.”
The consensus advice was, “When the hiring is done you must live with the consequences,” Tice said.
Tice and the guidelines committee, which included both High School Principal Georgette Hoskins and Middle School Principal Tim Chiavara, also consulted existing New York state law and previous coaching contracts.
The proposed new hiring process concerns both currently-filled coaching positions and open positions.
The currently-filled positions will all have an exit interview with each coach within 60 days of the end of the sports season, and one component of that meeting will be a discussion about retaining that coach for the next season.
For open coaching positions, the job will be advertised internally and externally if necessary. The athletic director will seek input from the constituents groups who are impacted by the sport, such as coaches, players and parents, possibly through a committee or a survey.
The athletic director will then review applications and interview candidates, and then coordinate with the appropriate school principal to recommend a candidate to the district superintendent. The superintendent must recommend the candidate to the board of education for its consideration and approval.
“We all want to work together,” Tice told the board. “This provides layers of insulation for the process.”
Coggswell praised the proposed guidelines as “careful, conscious and deliberate.”
Board member Thomas Lambdin praised Tice for doing such a thorough job on the procedures while working only part-time as the district’s athletic director. He also suggested that a philosophy of “inclusiveness” should be part of the guidelines, that every player on a team must be allowed to participate.
“Absolutely. We always talk about maximizing participation with all of our coaches,” Tice said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.