Our Opinion: Right call on PHS coach
The decision to bring back Pittsfield High School baseball coach Bob Moynihan may have been based on the filing of a grievance by Mr. Moynihan with the United Educators of Pittsfield that the school knew it couldn't defend, but whatever the motivation, the powers-that-be made the right call. There has to be a good reason to get rid of a successful coach, and that reason has to be made public.
The head coaching position was vacated and applications taken even though the successful and respected 31-year veteran did not resign and had reapplied. Amid speculation that Mr. Moynihan had been undermined by critical parents, a backlash erupted that played out in part on the pages of The Berkshire Eagle. School officials and members of the School Committee, in contrast to Mr. Moynihan's defenders, remained silent on the issue.
It is not that high school coaches are or should be untouchable. Thursday, Taconic wrestling coach Matt Chamberlain was placed on leave for what was described as a personnel matter, with Superintendent Jason McCandless telling the Eagle that the athletic director and principal believed that had to be done "for the good of the program." This will play out in the proper channels, and the public has been given an explanation by the superintendent within the limits he is held to by that process. This did not happen with the apparent attempt to ease out Coach Moynihan.
What can never happen is the forcing out of a coach by parents or anyone else with a personal grudge, especially if that coach is not only successful but, as is the case with Mr. Moynihan, is respected as an educator. That would sanction a similar approach to other coaches in the school, as angering someone is an almost inevitable part of the job. Now, Coach Moynihan can breathe easier, and so can other coaches at PHS.
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