Successful Coach Under Fire

April 7, 2017

Since 2008, Head Coach Doug Laker has helped the Greenfield-Central (Ind.) High School girls' basketball team win 129 games, including its first sectional title in 12 years this past season. He was winner of the 2016 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award. According to an article from the Daily Reporter, administrators at the school have not recommended Laker be retained next year.

Laker’s coaching strategies have come under fire for three specific reasons.

"First, he didn’t wear enough Greenfield-Central apparel,” writes author Rich Torres. “Second, the administration has been informed he told his players ‘you can’t be JV your whole life, you have to make a play in the 7:30 (varsity) game.’”

The administration was also reportedly told that Laker used degrading language when speaking to his athletes. 

“Obviously, we are in that time period of winter coaches evaluations and we are working on making recommendations for our school board for the April and May meeting,” said Athletic Director Jared Manning. “We meet with each one of our coaches through that evaluation process. I’m not going to talk about any personnel issues or anything like that, but that’s the process.”

Letters from parents and other coaches in favor of keeping Laker on as coach have been building up. The parents of Madison Wise, an Iowa State Signee and finalist for 2016-17 Indiana Miss Basketball Award, say his coaching is what has made her into the player she is today.

“That’s coaching,” Kent Wise remarked. “Doug nor the coaching staff as a whole have ever received any verbal or written concerns of any kind from the administration.”

Iowa State University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Bill Fennelly also made a comment.

“I have coached college basketball for 40 years and I truly believe we need more coaches like coach Laker, not less,” sais Fennelly. “Coaches who focus on developing young people in every way and helping them prepare for what is ahead in their lives.”

 
From New World Of Coaching
In 1978, 26-year-old Kevin Donley was the youngest head coach in college football when he took the reins at Anderson College. Thirty-eight years later, he has become the winningest active coach in the nation, while leading the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) to its first national title in the 2016 NAIA championship game. He explains how he motivates players and develops team leaders.