Basketball Coach’s Dismissal Raises Controversy

Grace Hilty, Feature Editor

At the close of the 2012 season, Principal Adam Clark informed varsity men’s basketball coach Dave Brown that his one-year contract would not be renewed. Due to Ed Code 44919 and the terms of Brown’s one-year contract agreement, Clark did not have to disclose reasons behind Brown’s dismissal.

In a statement released via email to team families on April 6, Brown questioned Clark’s motives for the dismissal. In the statement, Brown said he believed that “playing time decisions” may have determined his job status.

“Mr. Clark should not have been involved in playing time decisions, especially with his son on the team,” Brown wrote. “He blurred the lines between his role as parent and principal—creating a clear conflict of interest—and then used his administrative powers to unfairly dismiss me.”

Upon presenting documents that supported Brown’s qualifications as a team coach in the Acalanes Union High School District, Associate Superintendent Kevin French informed Brown that he plans to promptly review the documents contents. However, French has said that he believes that the former coach’s job status will not change.

Clark explained that all coaches are on one-year contracts that expire at the end of each season. At the end of each year, the coach’s position is reviewed in a series of meetings.

“At the end of every season, we have a meeting,” Clark said. “Not just myself, but the athletic director as well, even the district, if need be. We then make a decision pertaining to whether or not we want that coach back and if we are going to offer them their position again.”

Clark said he also meets with the coaches of high-profile sports to discuss the season.

“This isn’t something I decide in a vaccuum,” Clark said. “I speak to colleagues as well as administrative and district staff before making these types of decisions.”

Brown was released on non re-elect without cause, so Clark is unable to comment on the reasons behind the coach’s dismissal.

“In short, Brown and I would be in disagreement as to what he believes was the reason for his dismissal,” Clark said.

Brown’s dismissal prompted discussions within the high school basketbsll community on Internet forums. Brown led the varsity boys to two NCS games, and although they didn’t win either, the team still created a bond with their coach.

“I think we were all pretty shocked,” sophomore player Joey Goodreault said.

“I was surprised when I heard about Coach,” junior Kiran Shastri said. “There will be a difficult adjustment next year with a new coach, but I guess I’m excited to meet him. But it’s sad to see Coach Brown go.”