Amarillo High Volleyball Coach Resigns in Shocking Statement
On Wednesday afternoon news broke in the Amarillo area that the Amarillo High Volleyball coach Kori Cooper would be resigning her post at the end of her contract.
In her statement, Cooper is quick to point out that she had "not violated any district or UIL standards." Cooper also states she "upheld the teacher code of ethics at all times." She went on to thank the community for the support she received in her decision, then calls out the administration at Amarillo High as the reason for her departure.
"As a coach, playing time decisions are always difficult. Unfortunately, upon making these decisions in the best interest of team success, I was not supported by the athletic, campus or district administration," Cooper said, adding: "I was told by the campus administration that I needed to recognize the political aspect of my job, and also of theirs."
Here's the full statement, courtesy of Amarillo Globe sports reporter, Kale Steed:
The implications from the statement are that the school district told Coach Cooper that she had to play certain kids and tried to dictate to her how to run her program. Most coaches deal with this kind of pressure, but I would say that it's rare to get unified backing against a coach, a winning coach, from every level of administration from campus to district-wide.
Cooper could have yielded and continued on with her job, but she chose to take a stand and resign from her position.
Andy Justus of KAMR-NBC4 in Amarillo, TX says there is much more to the story:
The bottom line in stories like this that generally gets forgotten is the kids.
The team just lost an incredible coach with D1 pedigree who is now moving on because she had zero support from the adults in charge. So many times the "politics" of a situation get in the way of the reality of the situation.
The Amarillo volleyball program has a long history of success. They will probably hire another coach that can lead them to more success. But at what cost? The last coach, a decorated alumnus and former athlete from Amarillo High, was just run out of town with no word yet from the school.