Ohio high school football coach resigns over parent threats

November 1, 2017 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingFootball
An Ohio high school football coach who resigned this week cited repeated attacks from parents and other community members as one of the reasons.

Middletown High School head football coach Lance Engleka just finished his second season with the team, compiling a 1-19 record during that time. Engleka also is the school’s dean of students.

The accusations in Engleka’s resignation letter, which include “online death threats” and an “unsafe environment” came as a shock to the district’s superintendent, according to the Journal-News

Here is what Engleka wrote in his resignation letter:

I hereby resign my position as head football coach at Middletown High School. The online death threats, threats of physical violence, personal and deceitful attacks from parents and community members, and verbal abuse levied against myself, my family, and my coaching staff have devolved into an unsafe environment which I refuse to tolerate.

These threats of physical harm and verbal abuse stem from the misguided community perspective on the irrational importance on winning high school football games, unrealistic expectations from parents related to their son’s abilities and future prospects, and parental belief that bullying coaches is an acceptable method of communication. I understand the high-profile nature and acceptable criticism associated with being the head football coach at Middletown High School, however, winning and losing at the high school level should not be a life-threatening situation.

Engleka ends his letter by thanking those in the district who supported him.

This spring, a Michigan high school basketball coach — who was just named coach of the year after an 18-6 season — resigned in similar fashion. In his letter, he wrote that “parents have taken the fun out of” coaching.

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