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Coaches never want to get on the bad side of the board

Published December 18. 2009 05:00PM

It seems as if coaching topics have been the latest installment of dissent throughout the Lehigh Valley over the past month. Two instances in baseball, one including former Lehighton head coach George Harris, and the other including current Northampton baseball coach Mike McDaniel.

Lehighton's school board said it wasn't happy with the example Harris was portraying to his players, which included him getting into arguments with umpires, along with a litany of other complaints about his behavior.

That of course trumped him turning a doormat Mountain Valley Conferece program into the top seed in the District 11 3A playoffs last year.

Lehighton lost its opening round playoff game to Bethlehem Catholic 5-0 last spring, but it's still substantial growth for a program that hasn't won any hardware in 75 years.

McDaniel on the other hand, applied for the vacant position in K-Kid territory, got hired when the board approved him, instead of Mike P. Schneider, the son of athletic director, Mike F. Schneider. and then got thrown into the whirlwind of public scrutiny because he got a job that he applied for. The Arkansas native, who is also a full-time instructor at the Lehigh Valley Baseball Academy, had disgruntled parents detest the situation, probably because they didn't know him.

Non-sports writing journalists from other media outlets bashed McDaniel's interests because of his ties with the LVBA.

With that said, there's always going to be issues with sports programs, no matter how small or how deeply rooted in tradition they are. Sometimes it's the wrong doing of one person that can lead the masses storming down your front door with pitchforks. Sometimes it's people behind closed doors starting little fires with the hope of blocking your path.

And then there's other instances when the happy family is suddenly primed for divorce. And I'm not talking about Tiger Woods here.

With the recent news of Liberty head football coach Tim Moncman applying at Palisades strangely becoming public this week, it seems as if the sweetness of a state championship just over a year ago has quickly turned into sour grapes.

How and when high school football coaches applying at other schools, and let me reiterate, applying, became fodder for the masses, makes you wonder if ESPN's Adam Schefter had anything to do with this late breaking gossip, but that's not the point here.

Moncman isn't happy with the school boards backing of his program, monetarily speaking. There aren't many specifics regarding the monetary indifferences Moncman has with the board, but one example is how the district didn't pay for the football team's championship rings last year.

And of course, going to a Bucks County school like Palisades, which has higher teacher and coaching salaries, is also enticing, compared to the tight budgets that the Bethlehem Area School District is now faced with.

The common thread in all of these examples are school boards. Sometimes they're against you, other times they're for you. In Moncman's case, he'll find out soon enough which side of the fence they're on.

But if there's one thing that any coach or administrator in schools know, is that you never want to get on the bad side of a decision makers vote.

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