The Archbold Area School Board chose not to offer the girls varsity basketball coaching contract to Kevin “Scoop” Miller, who has held the slot for 10 years.
The board took the action at its Monday night, Aug. 18, meeting, following an executive session that lasted about one hour, said David Deskins, district superintendent.
Board members did not cite specific reasons for not offering the supplemental contract to Miller.
This newspaper contacted Cheryl Storrer, Janet Wyse, Roel Galvan, and David Yoder, board members.
None had any comment on the decision.
Scott Miller, board president, said Tuesday the reasons for not rehiring Kevin Miller “are personnel matters I can’t get into.
“The board wants to go a different direction.”
John Downey, president of the Archbold Education Association, the organization that represents the school district teachers in contract and labor issues, spoke on behalf of K. Miller at the board meeting.
When asked if the AEA was planning to take legal action against the board on K. Miller’s behalf, he said, “No comment.”
During the meeting, Downey covered some reasons that were explained to K. Miller, including issues relating to summer baseball programs, which he said were not issues with coaching, and bus driving issues, which, again, were not related to coaching.
He called the board’s action “criminal,” because K. Miller had been preparing for the coming basketball season by organizing basketball camps and open gyms for players.
As the result of the loss of his basketball coaching contract, K. Miller will not be paid for the work.
In a Tuesday interview, Downey said, “They’ve stolen his time; they’ve stolen his labor. If you steal something, by the Webster’s dictionary that rises to the standard of criminal conduct.”
Also speaking on behalf of K. Miller were Greg Kuhlman, a private citizen and assistant softball coach, and Doug Krauss, head AHS boys basketball coach.
Kuhlman told board members, “you are on the verge of letting go the winningest coach, percentage-wise, in Archbold history, including Char Sharp.”
Sharp was an AHS coaching legend who was inducted into the Archbold High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
Information from the Archbold Rotary Club, sponsors of the Hall of Fame banquet, stated Sharp coached girls basketball from 1975-1987 and had a record of 203-87, for a 70% win percentage.
She also coached volleyball from 1975-2002. Her teams won three state championships, and she finished with a career record of 630-87 for an 88% win percentage.
Kuhlman said the board would have difficulty finding a replacement of Miller’s caliber.
Krauss said K. Miller had earned the right to a second chance at the coaching position.
Under K. Miller’s leadership, the AHS varsity girls basketball team was the Division III state runner-up in 2002.
He was first named head girls basketball coach in 1998.
With K. Miller at the helm, the girls advanced to the regional semifinal in 2003; the district final in 2004 and 2005; and the district semifinal in 2006 and 2008.
The girls lost in the sectional final in 2007.
Prior to becoming the head girls coach, he was the junior varsity coach for six years.
For seven years prior to that, he was the assistant boys basketball coach at Edgerton.
As the baseball coach, his team was the 2005 Div. III state champion.
Over 10 years of coaching, K. Miller tallies a win-loss record of 175-64, for a 73% winning percentage.
Krauss has a 70% win percentage as boys basketball coach (380-160).
Deskins said he, Allan Gladieux, AHS athletic director, and Tim Meister, AHS principal, all recommended K. Miller for the position.
In the Tuesday interview, Downey questioned the board’s decision to overrule district administrators.
“The board must not think their administrators are doing a very good job if their (the administrators’) decision was overridden.”
Downey said he didn’t have a problem with the board’s not offering K. Miller the contract, but he did have concerns about the process the board followed.
He said the board never once looked at K. Miller’s evaluations.
“What criteria did they use?” he asked.
Downey contends the board should have given K. Miller an improvement plan- a list of things he needed to improve- and given him a chance to make the improvements.
Downey said by making the decision not to offer the coaching job to K. Miller, the board did a disservice to the AHS girls basketball players.
“They’ve put the girls program in tremendous jeopardy. We don’t have a coach, and we’re eight weeks from the time when open gyms should start,” he said.
A new girls basketball coach “could have been using this time to build rapport with the girls.”
Deskins said he would post the open position right away.
Downey said the decision to not offer the coaching position to K. Miller just before school starts “is not the way we do things at Archbold.”