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Interim Coach Will Earn More Pay For Extra Duties

By Staff | Sep 25, 2008

Debate over whether an interim head coach should receive additional pay for assuming some duties of an assistant coach was heard during the Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education meeting on Sept. 15.

Superintendent John Joynt explained that after former head wrestling coach and industrial technology instructor Mark Lester tendered his resignation at the June 16, meeting of the board, a search for a replacement followed. However, due to Lester’s resignation late in the school year, the district was not able to complete a traditional state-wide search for coaching candidates. Typically, open positions in the district are advertised in March and April in regional newspapers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota, as well as several Web sites.

“We typically don’t get many applicants for a coaching position unless it’s paired with a teaching position,” said Joynt. “People can’t sustain a family with a coaching job that pays around $4,000.”

The superintendent explained that it was decided that an interim coach would be the best option for the district, with plans to advertise state-wide for the position after the wrestling season ends.

“So, we’d like to have Zach Hamann as interim head coach for wrestling. We also talked to a Middle School coach, Lucas Miller, who volunteered his time and asked if he could help as an assistant some of the time,” said Joynt.

It was proposed that while Hamann would serve as head coach and receive head coach pay of $4,065, Hamann and Miller would split the duties and salary of assistant coach.

Board President Karla Anderson voiced concern over the interim coach’s pay.

“As I understand it, we’re going to give him [Hamann] 45 percent of the assistant coach’s salary which brings him up to $5,316,” said Anderson. “I was concerned with how the other head coaches would feel. It’s not a matter of dollars and cents. Realistically, can we ask Mr. Hamann to act as head coach and assistant coach? Are we asking too much of him?”

Zach Hamann, who was in attendance at the meeting, responded, “I’ve put in the hours just like the head coaches and the others have for the past five years.”

“Is there any possibility one of the volunteer wrestling coaches would take on the duties of assistant coach?” asked Don Hagen, board member.

Joynt responded that the volunteers could not make that commitment at this time.

“Has our athletic director talked this over with the other coaches?” Hagen asked.

“I think the coaches would rally around Zach if we didn’t pay him for the extra duties,” answered Joynt.

Joynt shared that in the past, Al Sutton coached baseball without an assistant and received assistant coach pay in addition to head coach pay. This spring, Mark Lester was serving as 8th grade track coach when the baseball coach left mid-season. Lester picked up the additional duties of coaching baseball as well as the remainder of that coach’s pay.

“Past practice in the district is: if they’re doing the work, pay them,” said Joynt. “I think if we didn’t, we would hear from the head coaches.”

“I just want to make it clear that we’re not increasing the head coach’s wages,” said Hagen. “When we advertise for a head wrestling coach after the wrestling season, and if Zach applies for it and gets it, then he would be paid the head coach’s pay–if we could find an assistant. I know it’s difficult when you give someone a little more money, and then you have to take it away from them later on.”

Hagen then made a motion to hire Hamann as the interim head wrestling coach for the 2008-2009 season. The motion passed unanimously. Hamann will receive an addendum to his contract to bring him up to head coach salary. He will share the salary of assistant wrestling coach with Middle School wrestling coach Lucas Miller.

In related business, the board approved hiring Michael Loring as part-time dishwasher and Rosa Russo as part-time kitchen assistant. Approval was also given to numerous coaching positions, including Travis Birkey as co-coach of 7th grade football and Molly Rodemeyer as 7th grade girls track coach. The board okayed volunteer wrestling coaches Rich Stillman, Tony Stubbs, Bob Roethler, and Clint Young.