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Questions after Greece coach let go
Greece, N.Y. - A coach at Greece Athena High School for 25-years, Bill Hueber said he was shocked when he found out hed lost his spot as the boys varsity soccer coach, his team meant the world to him. Soccer has been my life foreverI started coaching when I was 18, Hueber said.
A quarter of a century with the Trojans, Hueber started off coaching the freshman team and worked his way up to the varsity level 12 years ago. Ive given this program everything Ive got because I love this programits been successful and I want to keep it that way.
Named division coach of the year three times, Hueber and his team have racked up a number of awards and titles. Six years in a row now, Hubers team has won at least 10 games a seasona record most soccer teams strive to get.
I've done everything as a coach so I was shocked, to this day I am shocked, I'm just shockedthis is not right, Hueber said.
Each year coaches have to reapply for their positionsHueber was the only person to submit an application but for some reason wasnt rehired. From the schools athletic director to the district superintendent, his application made its way up the chain of command, given a stamp of approval at every stop until it got in front of the school board.
In a 4-3 vote, the board of education turned down the recommendation with two board members abstaining. Basically 4 of the 9 board members didnt approve me and I lost my job, Hueber said.
He asked the board what he did or didnt do as a coach to lead them to this decision but was never given an answer. Thats what bothers me the most, that I havent been given a reason and thats why its definitely not performance based its got to be personal.
Given no explanation or warning, the coach and his players were stunned. We have no idea why this would happen, that's why we're all so shocked, said Thomas Hank.
Weeks away from the start of his last season, the Greece Athena senior said his team does not want to lose Coach Bill. Hank said, We're just doing everything we can to get him back because we just feel lost without him.
Hank and a group of his teammates have rallied together to urge the board to reconsider its decision. Fellow senior, Zack Mirquet said, Were all on the same page, we've all been trying to get him back. Signing petitions and sending emails to school board members, players said Hueber is a good, fair coach on the field and just a good person all around.
Huge loss, yepI think it was a very poor decision, said Christine Pursel at her daughters soccer practice Monday. For the youth girls team in Chili, Hueber is the assistant coachhe volunteers alongside the head coach, one of his former players.
Pursel said, These kids just love him and not only is he a phenomenal coach but he is an unbelievable role model to these kids and I can't image soccer without him.
For the seniors at Greece Athena, the summer soccer camp starts in just a few weeks and the season just wont be same without Heuber. Hes a great guy and hes taught me so much, Hank said, It would be terrible not to have him as our coach.
Hueber said hes overwhelmed by the support from his players and he just wants to get back to coaching them but at the very least, Hueber said he and his team deserve an explanation. This is not right, this is not right to take my livelihood away from me, something that Ive done forever over what?
The coach said he believes the boards decision was personalsome of them parents of soccer players. I didnt do anything wrong, I just played the players I thought were best and went from there, Hueber said. Unfortunately, as a varsity coach those decisions are difficult but someones got to make them and I think they held that against me, I cant prove that but I think thats whats going on here.
No one can say for surea personnel issue, the district cannot comment on the boards decision for Huebers removal.
Players and parents plan to attend the school boards next meeting on Aug. 12 to try to keep Hueber on board as head coach. The district has reposted the position and is working to fill that position the 2014-15 school year.