Coaches deserve much better

Published 9:38 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I have participated in sports as an athlete, had two sons participate in high school athletics and most recently have been a proud father of the Albert Lea boys’ basketball coach.

When our son decided to coach basketball, we were excited about that because coaching and teaching kids the game of basketball was his passion. After the last game of his first year in Albert Lea, a senior’s mom told me she wished her son had one more year with Coach Kreuscher. The player and Coach Kreuscher butted heads a number of times that year. She however, could see what the coach was trying to accomplish. He was teaching her son the game of basketball, team work, goals, as well as life lessons. He’s been trying to teach that every year since.  This year, 5 percent of the parents felt this isn’t the kind of coach they want coaching our sons. “We’re not interested in accountability, being a good teammate, participation, effort or pushing yourself.” They made it their mission to harass and bully the coach. After months of attacks he decided to resign.

Helicopter parents or ESPN parents are some of the terms that are being used to describe many of today’s parents.  I have read many articles of coaches all over the country who are leaving coaching because of similar parents that Coach Kreuscher has had to put up with. This needs to stop now!

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What I wish various groups of people would understand:

1) I wish the Albert Lea superintendent, principals and school board knew how important it is to go to one or two basketball games/year. Instead of trying to see what the students are doing wrong, observe the 5 percent of parents. The students have been great.

2) I wish the administration knew how important addressing bullying by parents should be.

Parents should not be allowed to text a coach.  There are other channels of communication. If you don’t address this issue in the near future, some lawyer will make sure that you do.

3) I wish some students knew how important it is to go to class.

4) I wish the code of conduct that everyone signs each year was enforced.

5) I wish that past and present players and student managers knew how much Coach enjoyed you as players, teammates and young adults. Over the years, many of you sent letters of thanks and the impact he had on your lives. For that he was very appreciative.

6) I wish that the current and past coaches realize the difference you make every day.

7) I wish the 5 percent of parents would realize what they have done, but I am not convinced they ever will.  Nasty comments, vulgar text messages and a general vindictive nature is one thing. But when you strip our son of his passion to ever coach again, that’s the biggest tragedy of all.  I hope no one ever does that to your son or daughter.  Coaches deserve better than that.


Dennis Kreuscher

Albert Lea