N.J. bill would provide job ‘stability’ for HS coaches

August 23, 2018 / Coaching
A New Jersey lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would provide head coaches at public high schools with greater job securities and push back against unfair dismissals.

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, who has coached high school football for more than 20 years, said his bill is in response to a rise in questionable dismissals across the state. Coaches believe that it has become too easy for parents or board members to have them unfairly removed, regardless of the amount of success the have with their respective programs.

From NJ Advance Media:

The bill — a copy of which was obtained by NJ Advance Media — states that high school coaches cannot be dismissed for “arbitrary or capricious reasons” and “only for just cause.” Coaches who are dismissed or docked in pay “must receive a notice for the basis of the action and have an opportunity to be heard.” In addition, public school coaches who also are tenured employees of the district would be provided a year to correct “identified deficiencies” if the coach’s removal is based on a poor annual evaluation.

Another element of the bill would require districts to inform coaches far earlier in the school year if they will be retained or dismissed for the following year — a stipulation that ensures coaches who will not be brought back have adequate notice. The letters would be required by Dec. 15 for fall sports coaches, March 15 for winter sports coaches and May 15 for spring sports coaches.

In the article, Wimberly points specifically to an incident in 2017 when a hockey coach was dismissed while the school board president had a son on the team. It’s situations like these where Wimberly’s bill would provide more safeguards for coaches.

Wimberly said he expects to introduce the legislation no later than October.

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