Investigation Leads to Firing

January 3, 2019

Last week, Bedford (N.H.) High School administrators fired Sue Thomas, the school's girls' varsity basketball coach, after investigating her coaching, as reported by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“There has been a parting of the ways between the school district and Coach Sue Thomas,” Mike Fournier, interim Superintendent, said. “She has been relieved of those duties.”

Fournier said Bill Hagen, Principal, and Corey Parker, Athletic Director, launched an investigation by interviewing players and coaching staff. Fournier said the investigation found that players felt “intimidated,” and believed the team had a negative overall culture. Days before Thomas was fired, most of the team said they would not participate in a tournament in Salem if Thomas was coaching.

“The school district is grateful for all that Sue Thomas has done for the school system … but this was not a good match,” Fournier said.

Thomas said her departure was not by mutual agreement, and the district had not granted her request for a meeting to address concerns.

“The contract has been terminated. I am not in agreement with it. We did not just part ways,” she said. “I was let go, and in my opinion I was let go because I am a tough woman coach.”

Thomas said the team “had a bad loss right before Christmas,” and had a tough practice before Thomas left to visit her parents.

“Players were upset with the practice and it brought up a lot of things,” she said.

Thomas said she was passionate about coaching, and wished to show that women could stay in sports they loved and become accomplished coaches.

“I texted them all yesterday and told them I always had their best interest at heart. I am sorry it wasn’t perceived that way and I wish them the best of luck in the future,” she said.

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