Is it a good idea for coaches to rip parents publicly?
Carly Curtis resigned this week as head girls’ volleyball coach at Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) High. On her way out the door, she made it abundantly clear to the local newspaper who was responsible for her depature: those goddamn fucking parents. (That’s my paraphrase.)
Some of you might be saying, hallelujah, I’m glad a selfless public servant is telling those parents what-for. But I’m not sure Curtis made the wisest decision. Certainly, if she ever wants to coach again at the high school level, her comments to the Coeur d’Alene Press are going to be thrown back in her face. But I also wonder if — in an age in which the youth sports world is hyperaware of pushy parents — it’s a little easy to blame them for your own troubles.
Curtis had two things happen in recent seasons that tend to cause tension — her team started losing, and her daughter was playing on the team. I don’t know that one had to do with the other (and her daughter has made all-league). But whatever was going on, Curtis defaulted to parents being unreasonable.
“I’m tired of dealing with disgruntled/jealous parents and players that are taking their frustrations out on me and my daughter,” Curtis said. “And I am trying to look for a more peaceful atmosphere for me and my daughter.” …
“I think a lot of people couldn’t handle that I was coaching my daughter,” Curtis said.
The Vikings finished 9-18 this season, after going 2-22 in 2009.
“It was a frustrating season,” Curtis said. “And in the end, I didn’t feel the support was there for me to stay. I didn’t feel there was a lot of support from the administration.”
Curtis said her daughter may transfer, but will wait until the end of the semester to decide what she wants to do.
Oh, I forget to mention that — she ripped the administration publicly, too. The same administration she plans to continue to work for as a physical education and health teacher at Coeur d’Alene High.
It’s always interesting to read the comments that are posted under any story about a youth sports situation, because even though you get some anonymous sniping, it’s the best place to get some of the story behind the story. If the comments are to be believed, there were issues for years with Curtis’ style and temperament, and recent losing brought the complaints more to the fore.
By the way, Curtis is not leaving volleyball. She will continue to coach a club team she co-founded. One wonders whether the issue was the parents, or that Curtis, a serious volleyball coach, would rather have a team with players and parents who are as intense about the sports as she is. And that place is not the school team.
Still, one wonders if a club team parent has a complaint, if Curtis is going to spout off about it elsewhere. Is it a good idea for coaches to rip parents publicly? I always say, the answer is no.