Dave Archer, the executive director of the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, has come out in strong support of now-former Williamsville South basketball coach Al Monaco, who was removed from his coaching duties Friday.
Here is a copy of his letter to the school board, written on BCANY letterhead:
August 27, 2012
District Clerk, Mrs. Mitzie Serafin
Board of Education
Williamsville Central School District;
105 Casey Road
East Amherst, NY 14051-5000
Please distribute to members of the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools.
Dear Member of the Board of Education:
I am completely shocked by the recent decision of Dr. Scott Martzloff, Superintendent of Schools for the Williamsville Central School District to remove Al Monaco as boy’s basketball coach at Williamsville South High School. A huge mistake has been made! This is completely unjust action!
Unfortunately, there are many examples of disgruntled parents trying to get a high school coach fired throughout our state and nation. In state and national leadership roles that I have, I am quite aware of how most school districts handle these situations. I honestly cannot think of another school district that handled accusations against a coach as unfairly and poorly as Williamsville did. Most districts employ a completely fair process, seeking input from other parents, other players, area coaches, experts, etc. The results of a fair process would have overwhelming kept Al Monaco as coach at Williamsville South.
I serve as the Executive Director of the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, Inc. I have been involved with high school basketball for 45 years at the scholastic and collegiate level. I cannot recall another instance in our state, where parents have tried to oust a coach, where that coach has been treated as unjustly as Al Monaco has been.
I also serve as the President of National High School Basketball Coaches Association, which unites state basketball coaches associations all over the country. We discuss common problems at our national meetings. One major problem regularly brought up is parents seeking to get coaches fired. In discussions with the leaders in other states, I have heard a multitude of scenarios. Again, I cannot recall hearing another situation where a coach was not afforded a fair and comprehensive process in reaching a decision. In fact, in an overwhelming number of the cases, the “accused coach” was given the benefit of the doubt and the administration often went way out of their way to make sure all sides were heard.
It is obvious that Superintendent Martzloff does not know Al Monaco, nor did he try to get to know him as a person or as an educator. Further, I do not think that any attempt was made to learn about Al as a coach: his planning, instructing, practices, motivation, conditioning, game preparation, interaction with other coaches, professional development, charitable work, donation of time for all players in the Buffalo area, organizing coaching meetings and clinics, public relations, travel to team camps, etc., etc. etc.
My professional life is about basketball coaches. I study them, teach them, observe them and work for them. Without a doubt, Al Monaco is highly respected as a high school basketball coach throughout the State of New York. He regularly donates his time, energy, expertise and leadership for the betterment of players, coaches and the game of basketball in New York. If you were to list all of the skills and characteristics that you would want in an “ideal coach,” you could put a check mark next to 99% of them for Coach Al Monaco. Al Monaco is a high school coach who serves as a model for others.
I sincerely hope that real leadership will be exhibited and that this very wrong situation will be corrected by immediately reinstating Al Monaco as the boy’s basketball coach and golf coach at Williamsville South High School.
David J. Archer
XC: Buffalo News
As noted in our original story, Monaco is the assistant executive editor of BCANY.