PRUETT COLUMN: Potential coaching changes awkward

Published 10:20 pm Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sports writers do all kinds of different stories, especially after 15 years in the business.
There are player and coach features, game stories and previews, and there is always breaking news to report.
One of the worst stories to track down has to be if and when a coach is leaving a certain post.
Why? It is just awkward for everyone involved.
First, the rumors start and never stop. Fans want to know when and where the head coach of their team is headed, if anywhere.
Fans are fully invested in their team, and if a coach leaves it means next year is already starting minus a huge hole.
So what generally happens is those fans talk to other fans who then talk to other fans, and the rumor grows bigger than what it really is.
It is hard to track down information that has legs. The easiest way to get information is to go straight to the source, the coach in question.
This is where the problem starts.
Yes, coaches apply for other jobs and it happens way more than what you might think it happens.
It has to be pointed out that a majority of high school coaches do not make $100,000 a year. How can a coach be blamed for sometimes throwing his name in the hat for a better job?
Do not take the word “better” wrong, fans. Better in this instance means more money and a job that could lead to even bigger things down the road.
It is a fact that there are better jobs out there. Take a look at what just happened at Allen ISD.
Tom Westerberg coached the Eagles since 2004 and had a record of 148-17. His Eagles won three state titles in a row and this year were eliminated in the state semifinals to have their 57-game winning streak snapped. Allen won 10 district championships in a row and play football in a $60 million stadium.
Sounds like the perfect coaching job, doesn’t it? Westerberg recently left Allen to become head coach/athletic director at Barbers Hill High School.
This means Westerberg applied and interviewed for the Barbers Hill job. At some point he decided with his family a change was needed and this new job was the right call.
It is hard to imagine Westerberg hated life while coaching Allen. I can almost guarantee he wasn’t looking for any and every chance to get out of town.
This is what makes these stories awkward.
Yes, coaches applying for other jobs is news because the results of the application can mean changes for readers’ teams.
Fans need to realize, though, there are reasons news about this topic can sometimes be hard to find. The best thing to not do is spread rumors.
A good number of us have applied for jobs and not been offered the opportunity to make a change. Coaches are no different and they have jobs to go back to.
We should never blame a coach or anyone else for trying to do what they feel is right for themselves and their families.
P.S.: Go Earl Thomas and go Seahawks!

Gabriel Pruett can be reached at 721-2436 or On Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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