New Contract Could Affect Coaching Jobs : Coaches Could Lose Full-Time Status With Huntington Beach Plan

Times Staff Writer

Coaches and athletic administrators are concerned that some of the Huntington Beach Union High School District’s best coaches might have to leave their jobs if a new teachers’ contract is approved tonight.

At issue is a proposal in the contract to reassign coaches with the least seniority in the district to a surplus pool of teachers.

Once in that pool, coaches would lose their full-time class schedules and be given substitute teaching assignments.

The Huntington Beach district’s plan comes as a result of declining enrollment and will mean there are no layoffs of tenured teachers.


Coaches--or extra-curricular teachers such as band directors and drama instructors who also would be affected by the plan--would retain their full salary and benefits, according to Dr. Lawrence Kemper, district superintendent. They also could continue coaching at their schools.

That’s not good enough for many, Edison Athletic Director Lyman Clower said Monday.

“The chances are a number of those good, young people are going to get out of here,” Clower said. “They’ll go down to the South Coast or Moreno Valley, where people are hiring and where you can be on staff.”

Edison, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Marina, Ocean View and Westminster--the 6 members of the Sunset League--make up the school district.


At Edison, boys’ basketball Coach Jon Borchert and football Coach Dave White would be placed into the surplus pool, said Clower, who fears both will leave Edison to pursue teaching positions elsewhere.

“We hope they stay,” Kemper said of all the coaches involved. “Our goal is to get them back into the program, but that may take time.”

At Marina, Chris Ramsey could lose his job as the Vikings’ football coach as well as his teaching assignment. Ramsey is on a temporary, year-to-year contract. According to Kemper, “Anybody who is a temporary teacher, who does not have a contract will not be back in the fall and that’s not just coaches, it’s any teacher.”

And it doesn’t stop at head coaches of varsity sports. For example, sophomore coaches and varsity assistants who fall into the plan also would be placed in the surplus pool.


The contract, if approved tonight by the district trustees, would go into effect July 1. It’s an alternative to “RIFing"--Reduction In Force--in which a district lays off tenured teachers, those with 3 years or more of seniority.

“It’s a more palatable situation,” Kemper said.

The changes in the contract also mean that a school will have to stay within the district to find a replacement for a coach who chooses to leave.

“It’s confusing for everybody right now,” Ramsey said. “We’ve had to have several meetings just to explain. It would be nice if they could go public and make some clear and concise statements to give everyone some peace of mind and let the public know what’s going on.”


Ramsey said he was about to close a deal on a home when he heard of the district plan and had to halt the transaction.

Ramsey left a job as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech to take the Marina position in 1986. He said he was under the impression that his position at Marina was “protected” and his contract would be renewed each year.