Officials announce new Carbon high football coach
School district officials named Leo Parr as Carbon High's new football coach while conducting a forum Wednesday to hear public comment and clarify issues concerning the team.
On July 22 Carbon principal Greg Stanfield told the Sun Advocate that Carbon High had let head football coach Tim Tiller go. He did not elaborate on the reasons for the firing but gave this statement, "we decided that we need to take the Carbon High football program in a different direction. With that change we felt the need to change coaches to achieve that."
Tiller was contacted on the same day and reported feeling "blindsided" by the firing, which he received via voice message on his cell phone.
Superintendent Patsy Bueno chaired Wednesday's special meeting and spoke immediately to comments that have been drifting through the "I know that recent developments have alarmed all of you but the football program is alive and well in our community and we want it to grow," she said.
Bueno then stated her support for Stanfield's position saying, "He is an experienced educator and has full authority to make these decisions."
A group of five individuals, including Tiller, were allowed to speak to approximately 25 Carbon County residents.
"I would like to see some continuity in this program," said Dr. Paul Martinez, who has a son on the team. "I also feel academics needs to be a focus, this school has been on academic probation for several years and I don't know if they still are. Politics are a big part of this and with politics as usual parents can have a steamroller affect on coaches that aren't accepted. You know I wish parents would get this involved in students academics."
Members of the Carbon High football team including Jake Knighton also spoke on behalf of Tiller.
"It took coach Jorgenson years to build his program and after he left we didn't have any success until coach Tiller. I think going from no wins just a couple years back to two wins and a competitive team is a big step forward. There are five guys in this room right now who don't want a new coach two weeks before the season starts," said Knighton.
Tiller's statements focused on the football team and his wish to finish out this season.
"Ya the numbers are down, however, I think some behind the scenes actions are bringing them down. What I am asking is that you give me the opportunity to finish the season. If you need me to step down I will do that at the end of the season. And if I've offended anybody I apologize for that," said Tiller.
While Stanfield would not comment about the reasons for the coaching change he was steadfast in his decision.
"This is a hard situation, I have been an academic administrator for 27 years and a head athletic coach. I know what its like to be fired, I'll admit that. I agree with continuity but I have been charged with caring for 800 students and that is my top priority. Coach Tiller has done a good job but Carbon High needs to move in a different direction and there will be a coaching change," he said.
The school sent out letters to all football players about a Tuesday meeting at which time they will meet their new coach and get ready for the season, said Stanfield.
"I have gone through being hated," explained the Carbon principal. "But this really was an administrative decision not a political one. I do have the students best interests at heart and I'm not going to let the program die."