I’ve never met Kevin “Scoop” Miller. Don’t know him from Adam. But the picture I get from his supporters is that he’s a pretty good guy and even better coach. Funny the Archbold Area School District Board of Education doesn’t see it the same way. Sometimes agendas are blinding and this time the board has left too many in the dark. Time to turn on the lights.
I’ve never met Kevin “Scoop” Miller. Don’t know him from Adam. But the picture I get from his supporters is that he’s a pretty good guy and even better coach.
Funny the Archbold Area School District Board of Education doesn’t see it the same way.
Sometimes agendas are blinding and this time the board has left too many in the dark.
Time to turn on the lights.
After an executive session that lasted nearly an hour at its meeting on August 18, the Archbold board opted not to renew Miller’s contract for the varsity girls basketball head coaching post he’s held for 10 years. Miller has also been relieved of his varsity head coaching duties in baseball.
Although Miller remains employed as an Archbold Middle School physical education teacher, both coaching positions have been posted within the district.
Why do I care? Because a ton of our members do – and from their discussions and posts, something here isn’t right. The more you know, the more anyone with a pulse has to agree.
According to the community’s local newspaper the Archbold Buckeye, district superintendent David Deskins said the board did not give a reason for not offering Miller the job but did note that, “It was time for a change in the girls basketball program.”
Board president Scott Miller followed that up with “We want to go in a different direction.”
When reached by the Buckeye, none of the other four board members – Cheryl Storrer, Janet Wyse, Roel Galvan and David Yoder – had any comment.
Apparently the board did all their talking behind doors and backs, which was good enough for them but not for me, our members, Miller and a lot of people associated with the Archbold athletic program and community in general.
At the Aug. 18th meeting, legendary Archbold boys basketball coach Doug Krauss spoke on behalf of Miller, saying Miller had “earned the right to a second chance at the coaching position.” Legends don’t speak up for loose cannons and losers.
According to the Buckeye, at the most recent board meeting on Sept. 15 (Monday), 45 to 50 Miller supporters showed up to voice their displeasure including head wrestling coach Brian Becher who read a statement in Miller’s defense.
Board members again did not comment on the situation and said it is a “personnel matter we can’t get into.”
Funny thing is it is apparent this is not a personnel issue but rather a personal one.
When you come to realize that two board members have daughters in the Archbold girls basketball program, things start to take shape and verge on disgusting.
Board members are elected officials who are supposed to keep everyone’s children in mind – not just their own. Something here says the latter has happened.
Welcome to the worst of small town America.
Power makes people crazy and in this case it’s apparently made the Archbold board insane.
Consider Miller’s resume:
Since taking over as the girls basketball coach in 1998, after six years as the reserve coach, Miller’s teams have gone 175-64 which is a winning percentage of 73-percent. You won’t find a coach in Archbold history (including legends Char Sharp and Krauss) in any sport with a better percentage.
Miller’s 2002 team finished state runner-up in Division III. Five of the last six years, his teams reached the district level and in 2003 were regional semifinalists.
Miller’s 2005 baseball team was the Division III state champion.
Quite a resume. And a head scratcher.
Why fire a coach who has taken two programs to state finals?
That’s what people want to know. Too bad only five do.
And they’re not sharing. Or in this case caring.
To add insult to injury, the board allowed Miller to run the girls basketball and baseball programs throughout the summer, meaning he logged all the legwork in the off-season for squads he’s not going to get to coach. Nevermind the fact he won’t get paid for any of it.
What a gutless move and one that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
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 Miller at the August board meeting and called the board’s action “criminal,” according to the Buckeye.
Said Downey: “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.”
According to the Buckeye, Deskins said he, Allan Gladieux (AHS athletic director) and Tim Meister (AHS principal) all recommended Miller return to his position.
In an interview with the Buckeye, 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 told the paper.
Downey also said he didn’t have a problem with the board not renewing Miller’s contract, but he did have concerns about the process followed.
He said the board never once looked at Miller’s evaluations and questioned what criteria they used.
Since Downey’s personnel files are a matter of public record, they should be available for anyone in the general public to view. A district representative may need to be on hand, but those files – pending board policies – are open to the public. Any reason for Miller’s non-renewal should be included in those pages.
As for the coaches who still have their jobs at Archbold, one has to wonder what’s next? If this can happen to a man that’s led teams to state finals in two sports and has the support of his peers, it can happen to anyone.
In addition to saying that fellow Archbold coaches were “disappointed with the process which has taken place regarding Mr. Miller’s non-renewal for girls basketball,” Becher also noted at the September board meeting that it was important “to assure the public there have been no immoral or unethical actions on Mr. Miller’s part.”
As reported by the Buckeye, Becher also said: “In conclusion, we feel the reasons noted are not justified for Mr. Miller’s non-renewal. We hope in the future that some sort of proper protocol would be used.”
Being proper is not something the Archbold school board seems interested in. You could also throw in ethical, informative and just.
Glad I’m not on that payroll.
Want to debate this topic? The flowing threads and posts on this issue can be found by clicking on these links:
Kevin “Scoop” Miller Statement to the Archbold Area School Board
Courtesy of the Archbold Buckeye (www.archboldbuckeye.com)
Imagine having your dream job, maybe some of you do, and you’ve had that dream job the past 24 years. The last 17 of those 24 years was for the same company.
During those 17 years your company was one of the most successful in its line of work, and your department, in which you were in charge of, showed significant improvement from when you took over and became one of the most successful around.
Then imagine again, coming in to work one day and being told your dream job is over and you will no longer be working here. No prior notice, just WHAM, you’re out of here. No thank you for your time, no thank you for your loyalty, no thank you for your sacrifices, your commitment, your heart and passion, your efforts, no NOTHING.
Add to that, one month later you still have not heard one comment or even one word from your bosses or board of directors on their decision…..
I don’t have to imagine that, I’ve lived this for the past month now. Those people who I worked so hard for suddenly turned their backs and abandoned me. No support, but even more importantly, never even asking my side or take on anything.
How many of you people would want to be treated like that? Would you want to work for that company?????? Believe it or not I still do! What you have done to me is wrong, but I still believe in this school and community.
I’ve heard through the grapevine that legally you don’t have to tell me why I was “fired”. This may be true, but it certainly does not make it right.
The students at Archbold are smart and they can see what you are doing. They know it is wrong and are most confused, as are we all, in what you are doing.
An e-mail from a young, enthusiastic teacher/coach summed it pretty well when it said, and I quote: “No matter what the situation was, the people I was supposed to be respecting did the right things…. at least that is what I thought. Do you think every student and athlete at Archbold High School thinks that right now? I have a hard time telling a kid to do the right thing and treat people the way they want to be treated when that isn’t happening in the situation that is going on right now.” Unquote.
You know, that is what I used to think, too. The real tragedy in this situation isn’t what you’re doing to me, or what you think you’re doing to me, the real tragedy is the terrible lesson you’re teaching the kids of Archbold and the surrounding communities.
You’re undermining what athletics should be all about. A few of my goals as a coach have always been about working together as a team, doing you’re absolute best, learning the value of hard work, showing respect for others, having integrity, showing good character, making good choices, just to name of few. What you are communicating to kids through this process is very degrading, and is not what helped our school achieve the excellence it has achieved.
You still have time to do the right thing and believe me the kids will see what you do whether you want them to or not.
When I go home tonight I will look myself in the mirror knowing I did the best I could do. I have no regrets.
I am, however, very disappointed in how someone can give so much, be successful, and be treated so disrespectfully. I know you may hire a different coach but you will not find another person who loves the game and the kids more then I do, and who wants to coach Archbold Basketball more then I do.
I thank you for your time.