View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 1/8

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: January 8, 2011 - 3:17 PM



The recent retirement of Grain Valley coach Forrest Rovello got me thinking. In times when school districts are struggling to find money and in fact are laying off teachers, what are some of the factors that affect the hiring of a head football coach?

Every year there are coaches who retire, step down or are asked to not return. Whatever the reason, coaching changes are a part of high school football. In fact the higher the level, the more changes occur. In college football you seem to get about four to five years to turn a program around or you are sent packing. In the NFL that time span might be about three years.

While winning isn’t the only thing at the high school level it is important. Not as important as developing character and doing things the right way, but it is important. When teams don’t win usually a change is made.

We all know that is part of the sport, but how do the recent budget problems of schools affect the decision to make a change.

Does a coach decide to retire now because there aren’t any pay raises coming and this is the best time to take the retirement? Does an administration decide to hang on to a coach it feels isn’t getting the job done because there aren’t teaching positions available to bring in a new coach? Is an assistant who wouldn’t normally be considered for a job get that position because a school can’t hire anyone else?

These are all questions that have to be asked. This isn’t the NFL or big-time college football where you just dip into the owner’s pocket or go to that big booster for more money. High schools only have so much money so changing the head coach of the most high profile and profitable program is a complicated process.

This is something that hasn’t been talked about until recently. Schools make changes all the time. Coaches retire or step down or are asked not to return. The difference now is whether or not the school can go get whoever it wants to fill that position.

This subject is PrepsKC will look into in one of our offseason projects. This question will be asked of administrators, coaches and even a few fans. It is an interesting set of questions that should bring an even more interesting set of answers.

Look for that project to be on PrepsKC.com in February.