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North Sanpete Forces Another Coach Out

Published on March 17, 2011 at 12:42AM

Updated

(MT. PLEASANT, UTAH) AFTER BRINGING HOME THE THIRD REGION TITLE IN THEIR 104 YEAR HISTORY, AND FIRST IN 27 YEARS, NORTH SANPETE HIGH SCHOOL HAS FIRED HEAD BASKETBALL COACH BULL KEISEL. PRINCIPAL JIM BOWLES ANNOUNCED THE DECISION, YESTERDAY, STATING FEARS THAT IF KEISEL WERE TO RESIGN IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS, THE SCHOOL MAY NOT HAVE A TEACHING POSITION OPEN SHOULD THEY NEEDED TO HIRE A NEW COACH. HOWEVER, SOURCES INDICATE THAT THE NORTH SANPETE SCHOOL BOARD MET TUESDAY NIGHT AND SUPPORTED BOWLES DECISION TO DISMISS KEISEL, A DECISION THAT APPEARS TO BE INFLUENCED BY PARENTS. IN CONFLICTING REPORTS, BOWLES CLAIMS KEISEL RESIGNED, WHILE KEISEL STATES HE DID NOT. ACCORDING TO KEISEL, BOWLES ASKED HIM TO LEAVE AFTER THE NORTH SANPETE PRINCIPAL REFERRED TO FEELINGS GENERATED AT THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING THE PREVIOUS NIGHT. KEISEL TOOK THE HEAD BASKETBALL COACHING JOB IN 2005 AND HAS SINCE LED THE HAWKS TO THEIR FIRST REGION TITLE SINCE 1984 AND THREE STATE PLAY-OFF APPEARANCES. DURING HIS TENURE, KEISEL ACCEPTED NO PAY, DONATED HIS SALARY TO THE BASKETBALL PROGRAM, USED VACATION TIME WHILE ADJUSTING HIS FULL-TIME WORK SCHEDULE TO COACH, AND BROUGHT THE BASKETBALL PROGRAM FROM A $15,000 DEFICIT TO A $1,000 PROFIT. KEISEL SAYS THAT DURING YESTERDAY’S MEETING, ADMINISTRATORS COMPLIMENTED HIS PERFORMANCE OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS, BUT IN THE END ASKED HIM TO LEAVE. WHEN ASKED BY MID-UTAH RADIO NEWS WHY AFTER 27 YEARS OF VOLUNTEER COACHING KEISEL WAS ASKED TO LEAVE, BOWLES COULDN’T GIVE A STRONG REASON FOR THE DISMISSAL. ACCORDING TO KEISEL, HE WAS FREQUENTLY BADGERED BY A NUMBER OF PARENTS WHO DISAGREED WITH HIS COACHING PHILOSOPHY AND FELT THEIR CHILD SHOULD HAVE MORE PLAYING TIME. IN ADDITION, KEISEL SAYS THAT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS HAVE EVEN PROPOSED THAT THE HAWK COACH BE SUBJECT TO A SPECIAL COMMITTEE THAT WOULD HELP DECIDE WHICH PLAYERS WOULD GET PLAYING TIME. KEISEL BELIEVES THAT IDEA WAS SHELVED AFTER HE ASKED WHETHER OTHER COACHES AT THE SCHOOL WOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME COMMITTEE. KEISEL’S FIRING IS THE LATEST IN A LONG SAGA OF WHAT SEEMS TO BE A LACK OF SUPPORT FOR ATHLETIC COACHES BY THE SCHOOL BOARD AND ADMINISTRATION, INFLUENCED BY PARENT INVOLEMENT. SINCE 1973, THE AVERAGE TENURE OF THE BOYS BASKETBALL COACH HAS BEEN FOUR AND A HALF YEARS. DURING THOSE 38 YEARS THE NORTH SANPETE COMMUNITY HAS MOVED FOR THE DISMISSAL OF SIX OF THEIR LAST NINE COACHES. IN CONTRAST, MANTI AND GUNNISON HIGH SCHOOLS HAVE EACH EMPLOYED ONLY FOUR COACHES OVER THE SAME TIME PERIOD.