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District needs to explain its coaching move at Forest Grove High School

I'm on the outside looking in, but...

I just heard that long-time Forest Grove High School teacher Mike McCabe's contract was not renewed as head football coach, and that this has to do with the lack of a 'winning' football program.

What kind of decision is that?

The Mike McCabe I've seen has been one of the school district's all-star teachers and coaches; his classes are always bursting at the seams. I know that he has endeared himself to so many kids who became successful adults that it is hard to count the numbers.

This kind of feat is not done via test scores, football scores or track points but by immeasurable hours of student contact, challenges, after-school extra time and summer community service volunteer projects.

Mike is a guy all the students know and can easily approach. I'm flabbergasted at the athletic department goals.

I'm on the outside looking in, but...

I'm really not even a football guy. I'm a soccer guy. Back when I was a Lincoln High School teacher and soccer coach, we won the city championship and came in second in the state. Wow.

True success, however, is not really measured like that. I have seen the experience of successful athletics, and positive role-modeling develop into good academics.

It's all about connection with kids, and just who can get inside their heads, turn on the switch and promote a personal priority list. It's team solidarity that connects kids to one another and builds confidence.

The choice to oust Coach McCabe smacks of bad priorities and a 'let's win at all costs' attitude. And there's no guarantee whatsoever that a new coach will provide the desired 'winning' season.

I'm on the outside looking in, but...

How much can a coach do with no middle school football feeder program? And isn't any coach somewhat limited by whatever talent the students offer who are currently enrolled in the school?

What kinds of decisions are made at the school board level to weigh sports wins in football over identifying the cream of the motivational teacher crop?

I'm on the outside looking in, but...

With this news I cannot just sit and watch a bad decision in the making without speaking up.

Ignoring such quality faculty generates misgivings about my own donations of time, money and energy to other school district volunteer projects.

It's astounding to hear that a win/loss record is such a guiding factor at the high school level. We should be promoting responsible academic, athletic and community service character over the hope of a coach who may be able to create a miracle 'winning' season.

Greg Kriebel, Forest Grove