by: PHIL HAWKINS - Former North Marion softball coach Neil Forste says that he was forced to resign following a meeting with Athletic Director Andy Jones in June.North Marion High School softball coach Neil Forste is scheduled to submit his official resignation this month, ending a three-year career at the helm of the Huskies’ softball program.

Forste, a 1987 graduate of North Marion High School, has yet to submit his resignation in writing, but he did confirm his decision, which he said stems from a meeting held on June 27 with North Marion Athletic Director Andy Jones.

On June 10, Forste asked for the meeting with Jones after Forste discovered the coach of his 14U club softball team, the NW Adrenaline, had used roughly $2,300 of team money for personal expenditures. Forste confronted and fired the coach, then notified parents of the team about the issue to confer with them on the next step. One of the parents took the lead on behalf of the others and contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to create a case number, said Forste.

The parents chose to pursue the issue with the coach through a civil process, and have since recovered nearly two-thirds of money, said Forste, who felt compelled to notify Jones of the issue due to his role as a North Marion coach and the fact that the NW Adrenaline team used North Marion athletic facilities.

“Once I found out there was missing money, I requested a meeting with Andy, feeling the need to disclose the information and what we were doing as a group to fix the situation,” said Forste.

Forste and Jones met two weeks later. Forste claims that Jones presented him with two options at the end of the meeting: Either Forste would resign or he would be fired, he said.

“I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Forste said. “I could not believe it.”

Jones declined to comment on the details of the meeting.

“I can’t say very much, because it’s a practice of ours not to comment on why we’ve done certain things,” he said.

Jones said the missing money from NW Adrenaline was an issue for North Marion Pryde, the local organization that runs youth athletics for North Marion and its surrounding communities. Forste claims NW Adrenaline split away from Pryde two years ago and is not affiliated with the organization.

After the meeting, Forste took several days to come to a decision before ultimately choosing to offer his resignation.

“I’ve never been fired from anything I’ve ever done, so at this point… I would rather turn in my resignation,” said Forste.

Although Forste said he is disappointed with how the situation turned out, he will continue to support the North Marion softball program and continue to groom incoming high school players through his NW Adrenaline team.

“My focus is still the kids and making sure the kids are getting taken care of,” said Forste. “I’m just going to continue building that program from the outside.”

At North Marion, the next step is finding a replacement for Forste. Due to the timing of the resignation Jones has plenty of time to search for a new coach, though he said he would like to have a pool of finalists for the position by September.

“We’ll find the best possible candidate,” Jones said. “I’d like to have something completed by the time we start school in September. I think it’s important…to make sure they’re well qualified and they fit within the community.”

Forste leaves the program having accumulated a career record of 49-32 in three seasons that included three trips to the play-in round and two appearances in the 4A state playoffs.

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine