Friday, April 11, 2014

McGuffey School Board makes right decision, renews Burchett's contract

Thursday was a reminder that a coach leading a program out of the shadows of mediocrity and successfully developing high school athletes is not always the most important thing in the eyes of parents.

McGuffey head coach Amanda Burchett, who has led the Highlanders’ girls basketball team to back-to-back state playoff appearances, had her contract renewed last night at the district’s school board meeting, but it was not without criticism.
A group of parents threatened to protest Burchett’s contract renewal with the goal of McGuffey getting a new girls basketball coach.

It doesn’t make much sense, right?
It certainly doesn’t when you consider Burchett’s close relationship with her players. Watch her interact with them and you’ll agree that parents suggesting she not be rehired is ludicrous.
Besides knowing the sport, relating to players and motivating them is critical in achieving success as a high school coach. Burchett has all of the above. She is a former O-R Girls Basketball Player of the Year, has been pivotal in the development of two-time O-R Player of the Year Sammie Weiss; and are we forgetting that McGuffey girls basketball had not reached the state playoffs since 1990 before she led her kids to that mark?
What about 25-straight section wins against competition such as Washington and Charleroi?
The threats of some parents turned out to be empty ones when a few did not show up to the meeting and the school board ultimately approved the Burchett’s rehire by a unanimous vote of 6-0.
In a time where school boards have knee-jerk reactions to parents’ concerns, it was welcoming news to hear McGuffey’s made the right decision by bringing back the coach who helped turn the program around and allowed the kids to have fun while doing so.
It’s sad that some find the need to stand up and protest when their child does not receive a certain amount of playing time or doesn't agree with a coaching decision. I’m not sure what these parents had issues with, but high school sports are filled with too many bleacher coaches – also known as parents -- who think they know more than the person hired to coach their kid’s team.
I covered a softball game recently in which a father was openly criticizing who his daughter’s head coach started at pitcher, how the coach should instruct kids on the finer points of defense and, of course, where and how much his daughter should be playing. You wouldn’t want to leave that last tidbit out of the argument, would you?
It’s laughable. If I were a betting man, I’d say the vast majority of kids would rather their parents stay out of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s complaints about playing time or if the person does not coach to the parents’ liking, there will always be those who think they can do a better job.
Not to be harsh, but the parents at McGuffey who stood up to criticize Burchett probably don’t know much about basketball. If they did, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post and Burchett’s contract renewal would have been a forgone conclusion.

1 comment:

  1. Lets not make her the second coming of Pat Summit just yet. She has been able to lead a team of average to above average players into the playoffs the last two years allbeit at the Class AA level. Lets wait until after next season and see how the Highlanders finish while playing much better competition at the Class AAA Level. And as far as the parents not knowing much about basketball, the parents do know that basketball is a Team Sport and I can sense their frustration when the Coach refuses to remove the Two Time O-R Player of the Year from a game until she reaches a certain amount of points even though the game is far out of reach. She often would ask the scorekeeper during a game exactly how many points the Player of the Year has. While attending many games over this past season, I noticed the frustration by not only the parents but fans, like myself.

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