SCHOOL BOARD WON'T REHIRE COACH; LETTER TO HART HIGH TEACHER SAYS WEIL'S RESIGNATION IS FINAL.
The school board, asked last week to return coaching duties to Hart High teacher Al Weil, sent him a letter Friday stating it would stand by its original decision to look for another softball coach.
Weil had coached the Hart High School girl's softball team since 1986 and has taught at the school since 1970. In July, Weil was forced to resign, but he remains a teacher there.
Weil, 52, said during a Sept. 9 speech to the Board of Education that he was rescinding that resignation and wanted to be considered as a candidate for the now-vacant coaching position. The school board meeting drew more than 100 supporters, including current and former players and their parents.
``The board listened carefully to all presenters and deliberated among themselves afterward,'' reads the letter - delivered to Weil on campus Friday and signed by district Superintendent Bob Lee.
``The board determined that . . . the administration's decision should stand,'' the letter continued. ``The board and administration appreciate the points of view that were expressed by you and others, and regret that there is not more of a common understanding.''
``They are grateful for the good things that you have done for students in the program and are hopeful that your acceptance of this decision will promote harmony within the program.''
Hart High Principal Gary Fuller declined comment on the matter. Paula Olivares, president of the Board of Education for the William S. Hart Union High School District, wouldn't specify why the five-member board decided not to give Weil back his coaching job, citing employee confidentiality provisions.
``This is a personnel matter, and I really can't talk about it,'' she said. ``I think that we listened very carefully, people took a lot of notes, and there was a lot of discussion'' during the board's closed session. ``It was a consensus, an agreement of all board members and administration.''
On Friday afternoon, Weil expressed disappointment at the board's decision. ``It's sad for the (softball) program that a couple of parents can overrule the majority of the parents,'' he said.
``I think that coaches will infer from this that if you cut players, coaches will be replaced. I think that's the message that will be sent,'' Weil said. ``I think parents will conclude that if your (child) is cut from a team . . . or if your kid doesn't get to start or isn't put back on the team, that at least you'll get the satisfaction of the coach getting replaced.''
Those who praised Weil's work said they would continue their efforts for him to reclaim his coaching job.
``It's so frustrating that this board has taken this position,'' said Bob Mazza, an organizer of the campaign on Weil's behalf. ``This coach has done so much and worked so hard for this school over the years. He doesn't deserve this kind of embarrassing treatment.''
At the Sept. 9 board meeting and at a Sept. 11 Valencia High football game at Canyon High's stadium, supporters set up a motor home in the parking lot to hand out buttons bearing messages like ``Bring Back Coach Weil'' and urged adults and students to sign a petition.
The group supplied the board with copies of 30 letters, written since Weil lost his coaching post, addressed to Fuller, the school board and Lee asking for the resignation to be voided.
Many of the letters alluded to three former Hart softball players whose complaints about Weil - the coach and his supporters maintain - led officials to strip him of his coaching duties. Back in February, Weil kicked two seniors off the varsity softball team.
During Weil's coaching tenure, the girl's varsity softball team won 273 games and lost 96. His teams never had a losing season.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Sep 19, 1998|
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