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Dec 12, 2012 10:48 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Baseball Coaches Defended At Board Of Education Meeting

Dec 12, 2012 11:52 AM

A host of Southampton High School baseball players, parents and head coach Ike Birdsall turned out at Tuesday night’s Southampton Board of Education meeting to show support for two baseball coaches who could lose their positions based on recommendations made by Athletic Director Darren Phillips.

Mr. Phillips recommended that the men, varsity baseball assistant coaches Gary Pike and Robert Schmidt, not be invited back next year, largely because they have sons who play on the teams. He said he was concerned that the fathers could show a bias in their coaching duties.

Currently there is no policy that bars parents from coaching teams that their children play on. Both men coached last year while their sons played on the teams.

Each year, coaching candidates must apply or reapply for their positions. Prior year coaches are not terminated, according to Southampton School Superintendent Dr. J. Richard Boyes—“They just might not be invited back.” He added, “Mr. Phillips’s intention was to recommend to me some changes in the baseball coaching staff.”

Students, parents and Mr. Pike himself spoke at the meeting, defending the coaches’ efforts.

Mr. Birdsall said that he doesn’t understand why the men wouldn’t remain in their positions next year. “I feel that the coaches have done an outstanding job,” he said, noting that Mr. Pike has helped him manage the varsity and junior varsity teams, and Mr. Schmidt filled in where he and Mr. Pike were spread thin.

Junior Jake Marano said he is disappointed that removal of Mr. Pike has even been considered. “Gary has gone above and beyond,” he said. “He is the last person I ever expected to leave. Removing him would be removing a vital assistant coach who has contributed to the program’s success.”

Southampton resident Bill Dexter, whose son Kevin is on the team, said there’s never been bias from any of the coaches in question. “These are dedicated people from our community coming out and participating,” he said. “I don’t understand how we can eliminate coaches that are winning and succeeding.”

Upon hearing that a number of people wanted to make statements at the board meeting, the board and Dr. Boyes decided to table any action on the new assistant coach appointments. Final recommendations will be made at the January 8 board meeting.

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pike's oldest son already went through the program. now it's a problem that a coach has a son on the team? sounds fishy. dads coach their sons EVERYWHERE. i'm guessing that philips didn't have the stones to come out and say what he really feels - that pike is a major pain in the rear end.
By traffic (26), Southampton on Dec 12, 12 12:07 PM
Phillips is the one who should be worried about being removed.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Feb 7, 13 10:32 PM