Tom loved coaching football but in the end he took the promotions – first to principal and later to superintendent – because he wanted the extra pay and in part because he felt his close friend and trusted assistant coach, Kevin Talbot, was ready to step in and take over the leadership of the football program.
Unfortunately, 10 years into this arrangement Kevin had fewer than 50 percent wins and only one playoff appearance to show for it, which prompted Todd Morgan to run for a seat on the school board.
Todd Morgan’s son, starting tailback on the Pop Warner football team, would be on the JV football team next year and Todd wanted to be sure his son received lots of positive publicity as a varsity football player at Rosemont that might lead to a college scholarship.
Tom was clearly torn between his loyalty to his former assistant coach, Kevin, and his disappointment in the team’s recent performance, not to mention the conflict it would cause him with this new school board member. Tom’s question for me, “What would you do with Kevin and the football coaching position?”
I tried to steer Tom away from his question with some questions of my own about the academic success of the high school, Kevin Talbot’s teaching skills and the goals of the school board in his district, but Tom was persistent: “What would you do about Kevin?” he asked again.
In the end, I told Tom that football was important but not that important and it was distracting him and his school board. Kevin had his chance, time for another coach. See if Kevin will resign so you won’t end up with a public relations mess because he surely has supporters after all these years with the football program.