NOTE: The italicized comments were provided by DPS communication specialist/webmaster Jill Drury after the story was printed. They represent responses from DPS director of athletics Mark Baker.
Fall coaching and athletic director positions for all six Dayton Public Schools high schools and middle schools have been re-posted and a series of new requirements are in place.
A new job description for athletic directors at Belmont, Dunbar, Meadowdale, Ponitz, Stivers and Thurgood Marshall high schools would no longer allow the dual role of also being a coach.
The changes affect three current City League AD/coaches: Belmont’s Earl White (football), Meadowdale’s Chad Miller (girls basketball) and Thurgood Marshall’s Armiya Muhammed (wrestling). A fourth, Dunbar boys basketball coach Pete Pullen, resigned as that school’s AD last November.
BAKER: This approach has been used in the past. It allows building athletic directors to dedicate their time to ensure that academics are of the highest priority. ... (DPS) is aware that our selection process is dated, so we are working diligently to develop a comprehensive plan of action for job responsibilities that best serves our student-athletes.
A 10-day period to reapply for the coaching or AD positions closes May 9. The coaching and AD positions were posted on the Greater Dayton Area Employment Consortium last Thursday. Coaching positions for winter and next spring will be posted at a later date.
BAKER: The expectation is that all fall coaches will be chosen in time to make recommendations to the school board for approval at the June business meeting.
In addition, three new questions have been added for potential candidates regarding previous verbal or written DPS reprimands, Ohio High School Athletic Association allegations and OHSAA violations.
“I’m not understanding where this is coming from,” said White, a 21-year DPS teacher who left a successful football program at Thurgood Marshall to resurrect Belmont’s athletics as football coach and AD in 2014. “I’m planning on applying for both. … If I’m denied I’ll go through the union process and go from there.”
David Romick, president of the Dayton Education Association union that represents DPS personnel, was unavailable for comment.
BAKER: The reposting of all fall coaches was to ensure we are compliant with new district hiring processes and policies.
The Dayton school board approved a two-year contract extension for Baker last week. The vote was 5-1.
Baker was a key figure in the OHSAA citing a “a lack of administrative responsibility and institutional control,” following a lengthy investigation that concluded last month with all Dayton City League boys and girls athletic programs being put on three years of probation and fined $10,000. That stemmed from accusations by Dunbar football coaches and Pullen that Baker instructed Dunbar to lose to Belmont in a Week 10 game so both teams would qualify for the playoffs.
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Game video of two plays to start the third quarter showed Dunbar intentionally trying to lose.
Dunbar forfeited Week 9-10 games for using an academically ineligible player, Piqua and Princeton were dropped on the reshuffled playoffs and Belmont lost in the first round.
A separate DPS investigation cleared Baker of instructing Dunbar to “throw the game” and resulted in reprimands for Dunbar coach Darran Powell and Pullen for playing the ineligible player.
Miller, a Dunbar grad, has coached and taught in DPS for 25 years and guided Meadowdale to a girls Division II state track and field team title in 2014. He gave that up to become Meadowdale’s AD in 2015 and remained the Lions’ girls basketball coach. Muhammed succeeded Tobette Pleasant-Brown as Thurgood’s AD last fall.
Baker, another Dunbar alum and standout basketball player, is in his first school year as the director of athletics after succeeding Jonas Smith last summer. He previously was the boys basketball coach at Trotwood-Madison and Middletown.
White said ADs are paid with supplemental teaching contracts that top out at $12,000 if middle-school duties are included.
“I feel I’m not valued,” he said. “I think what I do and what I bring to the district doesn’t carry any value. If it was about money and prestige I wouldn’t be in Dayton Public Schools. I’d be somewhere else.”
The landmark OHSAA verdict also insisted DPS coaches and related administrators must undertake continuous training. The revised AD job description includes: “Due to the increased duties and requirements from the district and the OHSAA standards, building athletic directors will not be considered for coaching positions.”
BAKER on if each high school will have an AD: We will not know until we interview applicants to find the best candidate (building athletic director) for each school.
The OHSAA also ruled the probation will be trimmed one year and the fine reduced by $2,5000 if there are no other similar occurrences. The school year ends in one month. Fall sports are football, soccer, girls tennis, golf, cross country and girls volleyball.
BAKER: We anticipate the winter sports positions will be posted sometime this week.
“Yeah, I feel like I’m being singled out,” Miller said. “I don’t know why they’re doing it. I’ve never had to file a grievance, but if I have to, I will. I don’t think it’s fair what’s going on.”