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Willmar notebook: Volleyball coach will seek hearing on termination

Terrin DeBoer plans to pursue the appeal process, the ousted Willmar High School volleyball coach told me when contacted by telephone Tuesday, so that she can present her side of the story.

On the record she would say no more. She feels she has nothing to gain by airing her side of the story in the media. She wants the school board to hear her out. According to law, that must take place within 10 days after she has filed her appeal.

After a brief closed-door meeting on Monday the school board voted 5-1 to not renew her contract for a fourth year.

It's a given that high-school coaches today have a tougher job than ever and that school board members are trying to do what they believe is for the best while balancing the interests of students, faculty, staff, administration and the taxpayer.

The public is fortunate to find capable people that would wish to serve in either avocation.

Commonly, when there is overwhelming dissatisfaction with a head coach the activities director would ask for the coach's resignation. Presumably, DeBoer was asked to resign and declined.

DeBoer, the former Terrin Post, is a mother, wife and business woman. She's a tough competitor who played the game she coaches at a high level -- first on state championship teams at Central Minnesota Christian School in Prinsburg and then as a four-year starter at hitter for Augustana College (S.D.).

(Full disclosure: As a volunteer at Kennedy Elementary, one of the two classrooms where I assist is a fourth-grade class taught by Julie DeBoer, who is Terrin's mother-in-law.)

Coaching changes happen all the time. It may be about the direction of the program, personality conflicts, character or just the need for a fresh start.

What makes this termination hard to understand is the outpouring of support the coach received at Monday's meeting. Players, parents and her coaching colleagues vouched for her integrity and coaching ability.

We can only speculate what negative input the administration and school board was reacting to. Activities director Jamie Thompson replied in an email that he had no comment on the dismissal.

This time the process will play out, possibly in public since there is an option for the hearing to be open.

Haugen lauded in 2A

On a different note:

Brad Haugen was recently named Section 2A Assistant Coach of the Year. He is the assistant coach under head coach Jeff Winter and heads up the JV I team (8-5-2 this season). He's been a soccer coach since 2002 when he worked under Doug Rossum in the girls program. He moved to the boys program in 2006 as the JV II coach under Richard Courtney. He made a "smooth transition" this fall to JV 1, Winter has commented.

Haugen is a three-sport coach He's head coach of the Nordic boys and girls skiing program and will coach middle school baseball in the spring.

The rural Canby native and Augustana College (S.D.) graduate teaches high school math.

He first taught in Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop (1996) and the next year in Adrian before coming to Willmar 10 years ago.

On the fly

n The Willmar football team received Academic Gold All-State Recognition in Class AAAA. Others noted in the class are Detroit Lakes, New Prague, Fergus Falls, Rocori, Marshall, South St. Paul and Mound WesTonka.

n Mitch Fader was a backup kicker for the Concordia Cobbers. The freshman from Willmar made 11 kickoffs (4 on Saturday at St. Olaf averaging 53 yards) and went 2-for-2 on conversions. Senior QB Michael Dunham threw for two TDs and snuck in for another but the Cobbers fell in Northfield to finish 4-4 in the MIAC.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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