MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

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July 3, 2013

Statement from Bobby Jefferson

Recently I discovered that the MHS Head Wrestling Coach job was posted without my knowledge. I was given “no” notification of this action. This is a position I have held over the past 34 years. A coaching change of this magnitude should directly involve the Athletic Director, but since July of 2012 my responsibilities as Athletic Director have been VASTLY REDUCED by the supt. (mike garde). Examples:

1. Oversight of coaches

2. Hiring of coaches

3. Oversight of all programs

Since my appeal hearing to restore my job of Athletic Director back in July of 2012 the supt. (mike garde) has elected not to talk with me, on anything, no words have been spoken. “Ostracized and ignored” is the phrase to describe the situation - “no” conversation has taken place with the superintendent of schools even though I initiated a conversation to reconcile our differences through the asst. supt. (jim wilson). The hearing, last year that each witness swore to under oath, revealed that all accusations against me were false, but also the hearing revealed that school administrators were misleading. This can be substantiated by a legal transcrip and by audio tapes that I have requested in writing and verbally but have been denied access to.

My ability and credibility as Athletic Director while maintaining my duties as head wrestling coach has been recognized by my peers as a member of the Frontier Conference, I was recognized Athletic Director of the Year in 2007 and again in 2012 during the 10 years that I have held both position. Regarding my tenure as head wrestling our teams have compiled the following:

Team accomplishments

1. 314-91-2 dual won/loss record.

2. 18 district titles

3. 6 regional runner ups

4. 1 regional championship

5. 5x dual state semifinalist

6. 2x dual state runner up

7. 1x dual state championship

Individual accomplishments

188 state qualifiers

64 state placers

12 state champions

34 all-state

10 all-American’s

Coaching accolades

1. Inducted into the National Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame

2. 2X 6A coach of the year

3. Region coach of the year

4. Okla. Wrestling official coach of the year

5. National coach of the year (one coached selected annually from 12,000).

Is posting the Head Wrestling Coach position “retaliation” from the school district? They were unable to fire me because of false accusations in 2012 from Athletic Director. Now, after 34 years of service as head wrestling coach, the district leaders have deemed it appropriate to decrease my income by approx. $7000 dollars, just another way to force me out, the same decrease offered last summer, and terminate me as head wrestling coach. “These same similar actions took place exactly one year ago to the day”. The only word that I can think that best describes the similiarity of these two actions taken against me is “bizarre.”

It is noteworthy that although the district has decided to terminate me as head coach that they never tried to talk about a predecessor for the wrestling program. Since the creation of this newly created “FULL TIME ATHLETIC DIRECTOR” there have been NO TALKS about a proper replacement for wrestling or its direction.

Furthermore there have been no talks this summer about the wrestling student/athletes. Since the sudden plans for a “FULL TIME ATHLETIC DIRECTOR” has transpired - wrestling had to cancel ta team camp scheduled for June 23-26 that approx. 15 athletes had planned on attending. The cancellation was due to the uncertainty of our coaching staff and lack of. We are currently having a daily wrestling camp where no coach is receiving compensation. There is definite uncertainty hovering over wrestling. The lack of coaches is going to force a shut down of our camp because of the lack of supervision. “NO” program but wrestling will be faced with this decision brought about in the name of haivng a “FULL TIME ATHLETIC DIRECTOR”.

Some of the questions that needs to be answered through the new creation of this “FULL TIME ATHLETIC DIRECTOR” position are as follows:

1. Who is really concerned about the kids?

2. Who is really concerned about the direction of wrestling program?

3. Who is going to help keep the summer camp going for the kids?

4. Who can answer the questions being asked by the existing wrestling staff?

5. Who is going to have in-put on the next wrestling coach?

6. Who stays around and gets slapped in the face for a pay cut wither its $7,000.00 or $1.00? (there’s a principle involved)

7. What type of organization  / people treats an employee of 34 years and life time “ROUGHER” this way?

8. The most important question that remains to be answered. Who is this NEW FULL TIME ATHLETIC DIRECTOR they keep alluding to. I would really like to meet with this person. I have several questions I would like answered.

Sincerely sent;

Former 34-year head wrestling coach for MHS

Bobby J.

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