Letter to the Editor

Reader calls for ex-basketball coach to be re-hired

Friday, June 13, 2008

To the Editor:

It has been brought to my attention that the Cloverdale Girls Varsity Basketball Coach, Bruce Cook, has not been reinstated for the 2008-09-basketball season.

This happened at the regular school board meeting, Monday June 9. It should be noted that at the time of the meeting, Mr. Cook was coaching the team at a ball game at Cascade High School and was not present to defend himself.

The team is currently participating in a summer league at Cascade with games scheduled for every Monday night through the month of June and concluding with a double elimination tournament the week of July 14.

I believe one board member, Tony Hacker, misled the board, resulting in their 5-2 vote against Coach Cook. (Thank you to Dave Brinkman and Jim Sharp for their support in voting to keep Coach Cook.)

It is public knowledge that Mr. Hacker has led this assault to fire Cook. Mr. Hacker only managed to tell half-truths to the rest of the board to sway them to vote with him. Mr. Hacker claims that Cook has not tried to build a program when this group of seniors was in middle school, but even then Mr. Hacker was creating obstacles for Cook.

Mr. Cook led the Clovers to a 15-6 winning season last year and two county tourney championships in 2006 and 2007. You only need to look at the improvement over the past 2 years of the program to see his progress.

I would like to ask the school board just what direction they would like to see the girl's basketball program go. I implore all of them to consider the feelings of the team and the testimony of the parents currently involved in the program (not someone involved several years ago) at the next board meeting and to overturn their decision.

I would also like to thank Dave Brinkman and Jim Sharp for their support of Coach Cook.

While I don't always agree with the coach's decisions, the senior members of the varsity team have been with him for four years and enjoy playing with him. This coaching staff cares for these girls and has done everything in their power to protect them.

You only need to travel with the team to see that Coach Cook truly cares about this team not just winning and losing. The board will have a challenge in finding a coaching staff that will be as dedicated and care even half as much.

By taking their coach away from them their senior year, the school board has greatly upset these girls. It will be hard for them to give 100 percent when their team has been turned upside down.

It is my hope that we can generate enough support to have Mr. Cook and his staff reinstated for the 2008-09 season. Please contact your school board members!


Laurie Dillman