Iowa high school coaches say parents bullied them into resigning
Some girls basketball coaches in Independence, Iowa say they endured physical threats and challenges to fight from parents of some players.
They finally had enough, and told their teams about their resignations Friday, March 7.
Criticism comes with the territory when you’re a coach, but assistant varsity coach Rob Ratchford said overzealous parents got out of hand and he felt they had no alternative but to resign.
“I received phone calls this week threatening to fight me, to come over to the house and fight him over summer basketball stuff,” Ratchford told KCRG.
Ratchford said in addition to threatening phone calls, some parents complained about which girls were starting players, about playing time for team members and other decisions coaches made on the court.
Ratchford and head coach Rod Conrad had submitted their resignations. There were conflicting reports about whether three other coaches – Kris Gruber, Alex Jipson and Jess Weber – would also resign or not.
A statement from the Independence Community School District said Conrad was reconsidering his resignation after several discussions and meetings with administrators.
“In the past year, the administration has implemented a manual outlining the
expectations of parents of our athletes in the district,” the statement said.
Hundreds of people had joined a Facebook group called “Coach Conrad Stay.”
“It’s the parents that need to take the responsibility and not have to rely on the school to do the policing… Parents should be policing themselves,” Ratchford posted to one of the threads on that Facebook page.
Some other remarks were posted from people denying they made any threats or derogatory remarks to, or about, any of the coaches.
Independence school administrators had so far declined to comment, saying the situation is a personnel matter.