The Gettysburg Area School District will open all head coaching positions each season. Currently, the district has all winter coaching positions posted on its website.
Superintendent Jason Perrin wrote in an email Friday that district and board leadership made the decision.
Previously, the board approved coaches for one year and renewed the agreement annually.
“The district is committed to providing quality athletic programs and coaches for our student-athletes. This provides quality applicants with the ability to express an interest in our district,” District Communication Coordinator Becci Leathery wrote in an email. “As with all professions, there are fewer applicants for all roles within our organization. This enables us to remain aware of quality people who may assist us in the future.”
The district is not requiring current coaches to reapply for their jobs, High School Principal Jeremy Lusk wrote in an email to staff.
“Please know that we fully expect our coaches to remain in their positions,” Lusk wrote. “The new practice that we were informed of allows interested individuals to apply.”
Similarly, Leathery wrote the district is committed to retaining quality coaches.
“Posting the positions does not equate to replacing coaches who continue to do an excellent job for our district,” she said.
Public thoughts on coaching positions
The Connection asked readers their thoughts on the decision. The majority of those who offered comment expressed opposition and concern.
“Couldn’t time be better spent writing policies that don’t exist, and reviewing the system to see what else may be missing, rather than wasting people’s time to apply for jobs that will likely not truly be opened,” John Hartzell said.
Ken Kime Jr. supports the district’s decision. He pointed out the agreements are only for one year.
“Frankly, any job that is contractual should be open at the end of the term. If all we went by is the status quo, mediocrity follows,” Kime said.
A current coach, who asked the Connection to withhold his identity, is concerned about the effects on students.
“It disincentivizes any head coach to do off-season work if they will be constantly reapplying and competing against other applicants year after year,” he said. “Not to mention the instability it creates in the program.”
Anne Cherry fears the decision will make Gettysburg less attractive to coaches.
“Nobody is getting rich coaching high school sports, so why throw another wrench into the works,” Cherry wrote. “Who is going to want to work here?”
Alex J. Hayes, Editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is heavily involved in the community through his volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, United Way of Adams County, and Healthy Adams County. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania.
Alex encourages readers to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.