Wisconsin HS coach resigns after being confronted by parents

January 29, 2018 / BasketballCoaching
A Wisconsin high school basketball coach abruptly stepped down on Sunday, just days after he was allegedly confronted at a bar by parents who weren’t happy about the team’s play.

John Mielke, who coached the Appleton East High School boys team, was in his 18th season with the program. During that time, he compiled a 207-197 record. Mielke’s best year came during the 2010-11 season, when the Patriots reached the state semifinals and finished with a 26-1 record.

From the USA Today Network-Wisconsin:

According to several sources, Mielke was approached after Friday’s loss to Appleton West by small group of parents of Appleton East basketball players. According to sources, the parents questioned Mielke’s coaching tactics, with one of the parents repeatedly calling the team’s play “embarrassing.”

Sources said the parents told Mielke that some of the players on the team no longer wanted to play for him. Some indicated that Mielke “yelled at their kids too much” during practices and games.

East was scheduled to practice Sunday morning, but Mielke called the team together and told them that he was stepping down as head coach. According to sources, several other coaches in the boys basketball program have joined Mielke in stepping down. 

Earlier this month, a Minnesota high school basketball coach resigned, saying the abuse he took from parents made the job more stressful than his career as a police officer. In Ohio, a group of coaches are suing the parents of their players, claiming that negative rumors have hurt their abilities to host offseason camps.

Confrontations between coaches and parents are not a new development, but they have become more common in recent years. In our most recent athletic director poll, readers ranked it the sixth most problematic issue in high school sports.

Click here to read more from the USA Today Network-Wisconsin.

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Adam Cooper

Coaches and parents need to have a relationship to. As a parent I have often been frustrated by the lack of accountability of coaches. But even more so that many coaches are not willing to listen to parents concerns. When a coach behaves like a bully there needs to be an avenue for players and parents to voice their concerns. As a coach I was always willing to talk to parents and would often give them feedback both positive and negative as to how their child was performing. There was sometimes a parent who knew better and with the other… Read more »

Having coached 40 years the parent situation has gotten out of hand. Most parents only care about there child is playing not about winning,etc. They have no idea about the amount of time a coach puts into coaching and his or hers program. Most of the parents want there child to get a scholarship but in reality in HS basketball only 3% out of over 500,000 varsity players get a scholarship to college. Its easy to sit in the stands and second guess the coach. what I do is confront the parent and ask them if they want to come… Read more »


Coaches and refs step down or quit in large part due to this abuse that occurs more frequently every year. I watched our own girl’s Varsity coach step down after he was verbally harassed by his OWN PLAYER’S father in the stands DURING A GAME, A HOME GAME. Oh and I played baseball for that dad too growing up. Parents do NOT know better that’s why they’re not coaches or officials. I had a policy when coaching that no parents would talk to me about PT unless it was at least 24 hours after a game. Quite frankly, the player(s)… Read more »