When I came here in 1993, Harrisburg High School had not won a Basketball Regional Tournament Championship for 23 years.
Beginning with my first year, we won six of the next eight Regional Titles as well as going to Champaign my second year and going to the Super Sectional four of those first eight years. We were the 2013 IHSA State Champions. I will let my record stand against anyone in Southern Illinois.
First, I have the greatest Coach's Wife ever. She raised six kids while I took your kids to play basketball. She sat in the bleachers and listened to all the ugly comments directed at me or our kids that were playing. She has always considered our team as her kids and helped them academically, financially, or emotionally. She is a great part of our success.
I have had great assistant coaches that were dedicated, hard working and knowledgeable. I have had great players that worked to be as good as they could be.
I've had a great community that has supported athletics and rewarded success.
The Illinois Teacher Retirement System requires retirees to be completely detached from employment by the school. The process required me to resign from my position as Basketball Coach. My heart never left Davenport Gymnasium.
I resigned on Monday, April 18. My resignation was approved by the Board on Tuesday, April 19th and I reapplied for my coaching position on Wednesday, the 20th. The job was posted for other applicants.
I interviewed, just like everyone else, for the position I held for 30 years. It was a very positive interview and it provided me the opportunity to ask two board members their concerns with our Basketball Program. They both expressed no concerns or problems. Three hours later, I was informed there were four board members not in favor or rehiring me as Harrisburg Basketball Coach.
I was amazed at the disrespect and lack of loyalty and appreciation by members of the board for an employee that for 30 years has been dedicated to the job, school and community as well as being extremely successful.
I went to battle for my job. Over the next several hours many things happened. On May 13th at a special board meeting, I was hired 5-0. I am convinced that the true vote is still 4-3. I was truly convinced of that when this morning, it was expressed to me a concern that if I upset a couple of board members, I would be fired at a Special Board Meeting.
Some of my most truest and wise advisors individually asked me the same question, "it is all worth it?" At this point, it is not basketball that creates the problem -- I love basketball.
Mr. Superintendent, you will be receiving my resignation as Head Basketball Coach by email in the next few days. Harrisburg High School Basketball will then be in the hands of the school board.
My final two words - "GO BULLDOGS!"