DADS School Board hears from parents and students about coaches

At its regular meeting on November 21, the DuBois Area School Board listened to members of the audience about coaches in two different sports.

Several parents spoke at the regular meeting of the DuBois Area School Board in support of three-year varsity head football coach, Justin Marshall. Every parent who spoke said they supported Marshall and praised him for the way he handled himself and their sons during the past season which ended with ten losses. They echoed each other as they recounted how the team stuck together under their coach, saying that the lessons the boys learned went beyond the game of football and applied to life. They all asked the Board to reinstate the coach.

Dave Glass said he did not have a child playing football but in his role as a football official he said Marshall’s conduct on the sidelines gave him a good idea of how he coached and what kind of man he is. He said that if he had a son, he would be proud to have Marshall coach him. He went on to say that in his many years as a referee he has seen all kinds of conduct from coaches and what he saw from this coach was an example of what an outstanding high school coach should be.

Marshall’s wife, Amy, then spoke saying that Justin has devoted himself to the team, and that even though some people might think she would be glad to get more time with her husband, she knew that he had devoted himself to coaching and that she had been happy to support and share him with his duties in that role, saying she had been at every game except one in the three years he was a coach.

Two of the players from this year’s team also addressed the Board. They said that throughout a very demanding season none of the players had left the team mainly because of the coach. They said they both liked and respected Coach Marshall, and that he had taught them so much not only about the game of football but also about how to conduct themselves as young men. They also asked the board to reconsider ending his contract for the coming year. 

Following that, Coach Marshall addressed the Board. He said that when he had been hired three years ago he had been asked to “change the culture” of the football program at DuBois High. He went on to say that during his evaluation meeting following the close of the season he had been told that he had been successful in making that change and that he had done what had been asked. He was then told that his contract for the coming year would not be renewed and that the Board would be seeking another coach.

Marshall stated that the past year had been difficult mainly because of the superior team his boys had faced. He said the he and Athletic Director Chuck Ferra had approached the D-IX committee two years ago for admission to that league but were denied because of the timing. That meant the team had to face mostly larger schools that were outside of their league, but on restating the request, permission had been granted, so that beginning in the 2020 season DuBois would face schools more on their own level. He stated that with this change he was sure the coming year would see much better results on the scoreboard.

Soccer Mother and Daughters object to coach’s treatment of his players

Another parent, the mother of two girl soccer players also addressed the Board with many concerns about how the current girls soccer coach treated the girls. She said the coach had repeatedly made what she called “inappropriate comments to the girls” which tended to destroy their self-esteem and desire to play. She said she had been told that many of the girls had wanted to quit because of the coach but stayed with the team because of their teammates. 

Her comments were followed by her daughters, players on the team this season, who echoed their mother’s concerns and outlined how statements and actions of the coach made it hard for them to play.

Following those comments Superintendent Wendy Benson said the administration was aware of these concerns and had already investigated them. 

Submitted by Glenn Schuckers

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