Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

A chance to right the Good Ship Blue Devil is at hand

BruceGallaudetW

By
From page B1 | May 02, 2014 |

We are being given a handful of opportunities to return normalcy as it relates to our brilliant public schools.

Next week, a new school board member will be appointed. It’s clear from their answers on their applications that those who hope to replace Nancy Peterson, who resigned in March, understand what constitutes a conflict of interest.

The hope is that they also understand there is protocol that must be followed in dealing with concerns in the district. Administrators are hired to do a job, and they should be allowed to do so.

With that in mind, let’s turn attention to the search for a new Blue Devil athletic director.

Dennis Foster, hired in 2010, announced his resignation last month. Foster, a Davis resident who spent eight years coaching basketball at Natomas High, also served five years as that school’s AD.

It’s fair to say that his four years in Davis have been tumultuous.

A first hiccup was the firing of girls basketball coach Jeff Christian in 2011. After Christian released his star tandem — sisters — on a late December Thursday, the following day Foster said, “It’s a coach’s decision,” telling me he supported Christian on the dismissal.

By Monday, Superintendent Winfred Roberson had stepped in, after meeting with the girls’ mother, and Christian was out.

And so it began.

Foster said he had a coach’s back. But who had his?

Some coaches grew tired of broken promises, meddling and knee-jerk reactions. Some of the fault assuredly lay with Foster. (Remember a DHS golf coach finding about her dismissal when she saw her job posted on the district’s website?)

But in fairness to Foster, it’s hard to manage while looking over your shoulder. Need we revisit the saga of volleyball coach Julie Crawford — her contract not renewed by trustees (no reason given), yet Crawford was in possession of three years’ worth of glowing reviews by Foster?

Crawford was several times named Delta Valley Conference coach of the year — and still was rejected by the board. This canyon in district credibility was partially filled when Crawford was reinstated. Immediate fallout was the resignation of Peterson. Collateral damage, I believe, was Foster’s decision to step aside.

Foster, it should be noted, was selected as the 2012 Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year.

He says he wants to coach again. He’s been told by district officials — although nothing is in writing — that the school’s athletic director cannot coach and execute his executive duties. That’s another reason to give up the ghost.

Jeez. I lost count at 20 the number of sterling schools in the section who have an athletic director who coaches. (Foster led the Lady Blue Devils to a 10-0 DVC mark after Christian was let go.)

Now the daunting task: Find someone to fill the void. When the application deadline came and went on April 20, the school district had received 23 résumés.

Qualified locals apparently can see the clouds that hover over the AD’s office, however, as only two of those applicants are from within the district.

First-year DHS Principal Will Brown and Associate Superintendent Matt Best will now sift through the candidates, looking for those who, according to Best, have complete applications and whose minimum requirements are met.

After that, “we also look at employment history, letters of recommendation, pre-interview reference checks and experience.”

Best continues: “If there is a large pool of highly qualified candidates, we will conduct screening interviews to further narrow the pool.”

Interviews are expected to be completed by May 17 with a recommendation by Best and Brown to the school board by June 5.

All that said, here are some recommendations:

* Look hard at the in-house people who applied. If those candidates are coaches — and want to continue to coach — don’t eliminate them because of the verbal edict given to Foster two years ago.

* Make sure whoever comes aboard is given some responsibility for fundraising. There are service clubs and individuals in town who would support things like fresh coats of paint, new sound systems, new uniforms and other forms of facility and program improvement. Look at what was done with Ron & Mary Brown Stadium and the varsity baseball field. Sometimes all you have to do is provide a good project, sensible timeline and ask.

Our coaches are terrific representatives of a school that owns the most championships in the Sac-Joaquin Section. The AD should set up local speaking engagements to tell our story and share our history.

* Ultimately, district administrators and school board members need to trust the people they put in positions of authority. And if they choose the right person as athletic director — someone who understands Davis and, ideally, our high school athletic program’s needs and tradition — we can quell the storms that have buffeted DHS for the past few years.

It should go without saying: There has to be communication, and the hierarchy should follow protocol. It’s there for a reason.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-320-4456.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

.

News

 
Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

Gallery hosts poetry night

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Check out Soroptimists at info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Parenting advice on radio show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Archer event set for Sunday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

 
Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Unitrans persists through changing times

By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

 
Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
There are plenty of fun activities around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Barbara Archer for school board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Vote for change on board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Poppenga considers all students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Climate change is coming for you

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A true vision for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Drivers, just follow the rules

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Let’s fix the park deck

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

Davis robotics team pays it forward

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

 
Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6