Stan Luketich was fired after more than 20 years of coaching at Desert Vista High School. Luketich said he was told that he couldn’t communicate with millennials.
It’s always difficult to know the real reason a high school coach is fired. School administrators will offer up only the most generic of statements, citing personnel and privacy issues.
Take the recent firing of Phoenix Desert Vista coach Stan Luketich, who started the program in 1996 and had won two state championships at the school. In an e-mail to azcentral.com, Desert Vista Athletic Director T.J. Snyder wrote:
“After much consideration about the future of the Desert Vista baseball program, a decision was made to go in a new direction. We thank Mr. Luketich for his service and wish him well.”
See? Doesn’t say a thing.
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Luketich, however, is under no such constraints. He told azcentral sports reporter Richard Obert that he was told he was fired because, “You do not effectively communicate with Millennials.”
Recent success missing
The last three years haven’t been kind to the Desert Vista baseball program. It hasn’t won more than 14 games in a single season and in two of those three years it didn’t advance to the state playoffs.
But if what Luketich is saying is true he didn’t get fired because of those shortcomings. He got fired because he was too old school, too much of a disciplinarian.
Anyone else think some parents at Desert Vista got in Snyder’s ear?
Look, I get that coaches need to be able to reach their athletes. But that would be a lot easier if parents stopped meddling and coddling their kids. Too often – Lavar Ball is the extreme example – parents are undermining coaches. I have a daughter who played high school soccer. I didn’t agree with everything her coach did. But I never dreamed of questioning him. He’s the coach, I’m the parent.
I almost hope there’s another reason Desert Vista fired Luketich. Because if it bent to the whims of a few whiny parents, shame on the administration.
Oh, one last thing: Desert Vista was buried in the power rankings in early April. But it won five straight games and had it won its regular-season finale it would have captured the Central Region title.
Does that sound like a coach who has lost his kids?
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