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So long.

Posted Tuesday, June 10, 2008, at 11:55 PM

(Photo)
It's odd for me to post blogs on consecutive days. In the first place, I liked my blog from early Tuesday morning, and I don't want to cut its run short. If you like Ken Griffey Jr. or deeply dislike his heavily roided colleagues like Bonds and McGuire, check it out here.

Secondly, I'm kind of lazy. I'm supposed to blog once a week, so why set the expectations higher?

But on Tuesday, I found out some news that absolutely shocked me, and I don't want to be quiet. I was totally blind sided by the Cloverdale School Board's decision to fire varsity girls' basketball coach Bruce Cook.

I guess I find this so bizarre because Cook has taken a program that had not been very good for a long time and made it the class of Putnam County and one of the best in the WCC.

In the last two seasons, the Clovers have won two Putnam County titles and tied for one WCC title.

Between 1976 (the beginning of IHSAA girls' basketball) and 2006, CHS won a combined zero county and conference titles.

But beyond all that, Cook is an engaging and charismatic guy. He cares for the girls he coaches and they all seem to respond well to him. They are nice young ladies who are all a credit to their school, their community and their families.

I think the coach had something to do with that as well.

The bottom line is, I'm deeply disappointed in the school board's decision. I sincerely hope they had a good reason for what they did. The fact that I don't understand that reason is of no consequence, as I'm neither a school board member nor a Cloverdale resident.

But I liked dealing with the coach, just the same, and I hate to see him go.

Coaches keep their jobs on year-to-year contracts, so this kind of thing happens. We all understand that. But it doesn't make it any easier when a class act doesn't get his contract renewed.

When the new coaching staff comes along, I wish them nothing but the best. And most of all, I wish very good things on the kids. If I didn't think a lot of our young athletes, I'd be in the wrong line of work.

So I'll take this opportunity to say goodbye to Cook and all the other coaches who won't be back next year.

To Bruce Cook, Tim Savini, Dave Keller, Brian Gardner, Wes Peek, Dave Pasch, Michelle Spencer and Scott Spencer: thank you for your cooperation in the past year. Good luck in the future. And to any others I may have missed, I wish you the best as well.

That's about all I got, kids. See you next week.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Seems like more small town politics as usual to me.

What's wrong with the five who voted against him? Do they have a problem with success and class?

-- Posted by Sour Grapes on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 12:23 AM

The Cloverdale School Board has ONE member that is from the field of education and also a coach. He voted to keep the girls' varsity coach. I also see the principal recommended him to keep his job. I wonder just what qualifications these five board members have to judge a coach? How many games did they see? I am willing to say probably a big zero. Good job coach. I want to see these five at the games next year.

-- Posted by clover23 on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 6:50 AM

Thats what we have a board for,to mahe the hard choices. Coach Cook only had ONE supporter on that board! One of the two that voted FOR retention,has campaigned for a few years to get rid of coach. Anyone with ears,over at the ball diamonds can tell you,this member wanted 3 coaches gone.(football,softball and basketball-girls)He talks a ton about these desires,helps start the action,then at the vote surprises all involved with a positive vote.I've heard talk about which member is leading the charge to rid CHS of weak coaching. That member is doing his job right,using facts,records ect to make choices, that quiet member in the background at the fatal vote,wonder about them. As for saying,"what qualifications do board members have to decide coaches? Does THIS principal have the qualifications? Please,just go online and check the principals coaching records(won/loss) during his coaching career. Next,check out the records of every coach he selected himself. Its time for some changes in many areas at the Cloverdale schools, and as a parent without children there anymore, I still would prefer to see these changes.Not just in sports,but even more so in the other more important areas.

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 7:21 AM

This same board decided the principal was qualified to run the school and evaluate the personnel, and now he isn't qualified. It seems like a two headed coin here. Actually us in the community believe he is doing a great job. By the way, you were elected to represent us not to hold grudges and help one board member fight their deamons. Wake up you five. Parents of the players voice your comments. These are the people with the most at stake. Let the board know.

-- Posted by clover23 on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 8:05 AM

So,clover23,you really think this is the work of a single member? Are you saying the others are just like weak pathetic sheep following the flock? Remember the 6th member has been heard many times stating he felt the coach needed to be dismissed. So that only leaves one member in favor of retention. Hardly a single person vendetta as suggested. Also,sure,SOME in the community may believe coach was doing a great job. some in that same community say otherwise and that 6 of 7 elected members agree pretty much says it all.That board,elected by the community, IS charged w/making decisions that are in the best interest of the kids and the schools.That includes academics,sports,ect. They are charged with deciding whom to keep or hire,from the custodians, transportation dept,coaches,teachers as well as Principals and the Superintendent.All should be under the microscope by OUR elected Board.I think a few others should be examined and hope our board will keep up the effort.

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 12:04 PM

Clovertucky, I do believe you are on the board. I thought the board was elected to help control the budget, hire educated personnel to run the school. Then get off your ego trip and let the professionals do their job. You seem to be on a power trip.

-- Posted by clover23 on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 12:56 PM

Why is it that there is very few positive stories that come out of Cloverdale? It's a shame the board fires a coach that has had success there. By doing that, do you think you can really get a good qualified coach that can take your team up another level?

-- Posted by purple_heat on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 3:25 PM

This is typical Cloverdale. However, there were plenty of warning signs when a certain member was running for the board, and "we" elected him. It seems now that we made the bed, so we have to lie in it. It's a shame the kids and coaches are the ones that have to suffer, but that's what happens when you elect people with personal vendettas.

-- Posted by cloverfan on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 3:49 PM

By the way, thank you Coach Cook, for all of your hours of service, dedication, and commitment to the program. I personally know many of the girls you coached, and they all speak with great honor and respect about you. This may hurt now personally, but trust me, this is Cloverdale's loss.

-- Posted by cloverfan on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 3:51 PM

Clover23,sorry to let ya down,but I'm not on the board,nor would I want to be. I dont even live in the county. I just follow the Banner as well as my old school.Nothing wrong with that I suppose.I have many friends in the community as well. The board,like other boards do many many things along w/the two things you mention. For years the board did little,now they seem on the ball.What would you prefer? Its hard to please everyone when you are making needed,but hard decisions. It is painfully obvious you have issues with someone on the board. Rather than throw accusations at the wrong person,show up at the meetings and express yourself. I believe the board is working together,judging by the votes and I for one am willing to let them do the job we elected them to do. Whats best for the children should always be priority #1,no more,no less.Again,count the votes,it was a majority not one person.

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 4:03 PM

I'm sure Cloverdale can get a good coach to sign on,they got a good one after what was done to Coach Aker in football didnt they? From what I hear,many are happy with the new coach.I'll still return to watch sports there regardless of who is coaching. I go to see the kids,not the coaches.I am looking forward to seeing football,boys and girls basketball.Now if I could only start liking baseball.Anyway,good luck in the search and to whomever is selected.

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 4:12 PM

Clovertucky, for someone that states you don't live in the county, why are you so concerned. If you don't live here you didn't elect this board so move on. I don't know who you hear from but the talk HERE in Cloverdale today has certainly be negative to the board. If you aren't on the board your signature sure is familar to many, and your info seems to be coming from first hand knowledge. No one will answer how many girls' games have they attended.

-- Posted by clover23 on Wed, Jun 11, 2008, at 4:21 PM

Clover23,its really none of ur business where I live.Secondly,dont tell me to move on.Nowhere on this site does it say ya have to live in Cloverdale or the county to be on here. Also,no not much real knoweledege of the boards day to day,just have enough common sense of how any board works and understanding of Roberts Rules of Order.Another thing,talk in Cloverdale has ALWAYS been negative of the board,where have ya been?My signature is familiar to many? You serious? That would mean to you that I must be on the board? Maybe I'm familar because I post on here often,maybe you didnt understand ur sources info or just shoddy detective work.I simply agree that a coaching change was due,just like in softball,football,boys basketball a couple yrs back,ect. Other than Mr.Kileys wrestling program back in the day, all coaches have been questionably under the microscope as they should have. No communist plot,sorry to burst ur bubble.Simply agree w/the change in Girls bball and disagree w/mmost that are saying its the work of one person,2,3,or 4..it was obviously the work of at least 5 and actually 6 if u count the member hiding behind the desk......no more,no less.

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 9:30 AM

Clovertucky, you are beyond reason. I don't have time or energy to read your poorly written comments. Just take the time to listen to the parents and students involved. The rest need to let it be handled by those that stand to lose the most. There are board members that already realize they made a bad mistake listening to a couple fellow board members. Maybe now the situation can be discussed again, and the true facts brought out. One of the complaints was the lack of teaching skills at the lower level. Do you know what coach (a volunteer at that) was in charge of teaching those skills? Check it out. Ask the middle school AD who his girls' bb coaches happened to be. Any of you five board members might check this out too.

-- Posted by clover23 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 3:26 PM

Good for you Clover 23, you hit the nail on the head!

-- Posted by jcrum on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 4:12 PM

Don't give out too many compliments or Clovertucky will get upset. Clovertucky is the expert on coaches for the girls'. The experts changed softball coaches last year, and we all know what a joke that has been. I don't recall any big improvement, and now they want to try their hand at the BB. Look out volleyball. After all they only won the sectional the last two years. Being a winner puts you in jeopardy.

-- Posted by clover23 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 4:36 PM

I dont write these posts for grading so take a pill. Your skills arent the best either. U just need to get over ur buddy losing his position. Like I said, Bruce is a very nice guy and a wonderful teacher,however, he was mediocre at best as a coach. Ask the Middle school AD if he ever recieved a progression chart for girls bball.Ask how often any coaches from the H.S. were there for girls 3/4th grade up.There was alot more Coach could have done. No one likes to see things like this happen. I'm looking forward to progress,not looking back.As for me getting upset,not quite. You just wont be telling me I cant post or to get lost. I let you know that.Uneed to reread ur posts and ask who seems a tad upset.U have ur opinion,I appreciate that and I'll be having mine.

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 5:50 PM

Clovertucky, For your info, I do not know or have never met Coach Cook. I do attend the girls' games, and I believe some that voted to fire were not there. At least, I never saw any lady board members there. No one ever answers on how many games they have seen the girls play in the last five years. So Clovertucky, I am finished with this conversation, and I guess we need to agree to disagree. The Middle school Ad should know about the program as the coaches in that school are under his authority. So if Mr. Board Member Coach didn't stress fundamentals he shouldn't blame someone else.

-- Posted by clover23 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 7:36 PM

There is a basketball program for the elementary school aged kids that teaches fundamentals and how to play the game. I don't know what else they want to see happening at that age level.

-- Posted by jcrum on Fri, Jun 13, 2008, at 7:28 AM

Does any of this really matter?

-- Posted by whatweretheythinking on Sat, Jun 14, 2008, at 7:32 AM

I see your thoughts do not go deep enough...

Consider the lives...

-- Posted by jcrum on Sat, Jun 14, 2008, at 9:08 AM

My thoughts are deep. I just don't care much for sports. And compared to the war in Iraq, gas prices, the presidential election, rain and floods, world hunger, etc., basketball in Cloverdale, Indiana really isn't a big issue.

-- Posted by whatweretheythinking on Sat, Jun 14, 2008, at 2:44 PM

We (i.e., citizens living in a democratic society) are wading in muddy waters when we say, "This is such a trivial thing to argue about," or, "This matter doesn't directly affect me, so I should stay out of the debate." Deepthoughts: if it's not a hassle, could you please direct me to your blog/homepage? I'd like to hear your ideas regarding the War in Iraq (or Darfur), the Uzbekistan cotton crisis, global warming (fact or fiction?; solutions?), or ANY matter of serious import. I don't care much for sports either--still, it's nice to hear what people have to say about what's going on in C'dale.

-- Posted by ethos21 on Mon, Jun 16, 2008, at 5:30 PM

If the board is so concerned with coaching staff, why was Savini given the opportunity to resign (again) instead of being fired? How many of these coaches check the girls grades, actively help with college choices, or just simply coach and not pacify the parents of a select few? When one does have an issue with coaching, the administration ALWAYS supports staff over students. Even when its proven time and again staff is WRONG! Bye Savini, Brown, Cummings and Cook.

-- Posted by Sportfan on Tue, Jun 17, 2008, at 7:02 AM

To Ethos21, sorry but I have neither a blog nor a homepage. Anyway, judging from your creative blog name and your ability to use a variety of punctuation marks, I'm sure that anything I have to say would seem trivial. I have decided to give up blogging.

-- Posted by whatweretheythinking on Tue, Jun 17, 2008, at 7:33 PM

Hey Sportsfan,

I hadn't realized that Savini had resigned. When did that happen? Any details? Another case of a really nice guy that just didnt pan out as a coach.There is a ton of young talent in the high school and I hope The search for a new baseball coach isnt taken lightly. Again, a comittee of staff/board member/parent,something of that nature would be nice.Hopefully the AD or Mr.Stoltz(depends on who is actually pulling the strings?)realizes the need to be organized and deliberate in selecting these new coaches.For as much talent as these kids have had over the last decade, they sure havent had much success.It IS time for whomever IS in charge of athletics,to have a vision,be organized,not give positions to buddies,set goals/standards ect.Athletics ARE for the kids,not the adults.Those kids deserve adults that realize that and support that any way they can.No politics,no agendas,just do whats best for the kids.......I'm looking forward to the new changes and am hopefull that it will bring good things for the kids.

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Wed, Jun 18, 2008, at 6:44 AM

Clovertucky,

At the end of the season, just like the last two years. And its another example of his mother was friends with someone in administration. Ask a school board member how much they have invested in him?

-- Posted by Sportfan on Wed, Jun 18, 2008, at 11:35 AM

People seem to forget that competing in sports is more than just learning that sport. There are so many life issues that are also learned. So, whether you're a sports fan or not, you should support athletics because of the discipline and the life lessons that are instilled.

-- Posted by jcrum on Thu, Jun 19, 2008, at 1:53 PM

According to the IHSAA record website,out of the 105 games Coach led the team,he lost 51. Of the 54 he DID win, 47 opponents had losing records for the year.That leaves only 7 victories against teams w/winning records.Those winning records were 12/10, 11/10, 13/11, 12/10, 11/10. Those teams barely had winning records. 2 wins came against teams 16/6 and 14/7. So really,2 quality wins.Go to the IHSAA website and click on link for John Harrells Ind H.S.basketball site. Check out girls history at Cloverdale. I'd have to say this Board that voted 5-2(6-1 if you count the member that wanted Cooks non-renewal all along,but wont say so while up front of the community) was indeed justified to NOT renew Coach. Records dont lie.Really nice guy,but time for a change.W/that record,Mr.Stoltz or Mr.Rady shouldnt need the board to do their job.Those claiming certain members of the board are at fault or hasnt done their homework,well numbers dont lie. I'd suggest those of you upset,just do that same homework.Those stats wont keep many positions safe in sports,at your job,anywhere else.Better days are ahead.........

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Thu, Jun 19, 2008, at 9:25 PM


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Jared Jernagan
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.