A longtime high school baseball coach in Phoenix, Ariz., was told to hit the bricks — apparently because he “doesn’t communicate effectively with millennials” (aka snowflakes).
Stan Luketich, the now former Desert Vista High School baseball coach, claimed that he was not sure what school officials meant, but assumed that it had something to do with the fact that players on the Desert Vista Thunder were expected to follow certain rules.
Luketich, who has coached baseball for 42 years, has led the Thunder to two state championships. He said that the news that he was being let go hit him “from out of nowhere.” The high school principal, however, stated that the decision was made “after several conversations over the course of two years.”
Via Fox 10:
Luketich, who started the baseball program at Desert Vista in 1996, said he was called into the office of the school’s Athletic Director, on April 3.
“He said, ‘you need to strongly consider resigning at the end of the year’,” said Luketich.
Luketich said he told the Athletic Director that he will not resign. A few days later, he was called to meet with the Athletic Director, as well as the principal, Dr. Christine Barela.
“Within the conversation, they asked me again to resign,” said Luketich. “I said I would not resign, but I did ask, ‘if you coached 42 years, you should at least know why.'”
Luketich said the Athletic Director had previously told him that his kids “don’t play with passion and energy.”
“The principal said to me. ‘you do not effectively communicate with Millennials,” said Luketich. “I think, from what she said, she believes that I’m too tough on kids, that I have rules that she feels are outdated.”
Luketich cited his “haircut rule” as a possible example, as players on his team were not allowed to have facial hair. “I thought [the rules] might be appropriate someday in their life,” he explained sadly.
“They’re awesome kids, but they have to have boundaries, so we’ve always tried to create boundaries for kids — within reason — to be successful within an athletic program,” Luketich continued.
Luketich teared up a little as he described the overwhelming support he has received from the community in the past 48 hours.
FOX 10 Phoenix reached out to Desert Vista High School’s principal, Dr. Christine Barela, who denied that Luketich was fired. She said in a statement:
Mr. Luketich was not fired. He completed the entire season and, after several conversations over the course of two years, a decision was made not to rehire him for the next year. I appreciate Mr. Luketich’s service and wish him well.
The unfortunate experience hasn’t dampened Luketich’s love for coaching baseball. He told Fox 10 that he’s hoping to find a spot on another team for the next season.