The next day, Mr. Superintendent stopped by to chat with Coach Rock before practice, and he gently broached the subject of retirement. “None of us is getting any younger, Coach. Don’t you think that it is time for you to hang up your cleats?”
In the moment, Coach Rock was quiet, even contemplative. “Despite my tough exterior,” he responded after a long pause, “I am a sensitive soul, and I am sick of the all the criticism. If these Football Boosters think that they can do a better job with the meager talent here in Nutmeg, let them try. I will resign.”
True to his word, Coach Rock sent Mr. Superintendent an email later that day, stating, “I hereby resign my employment as coach, effective soon.” Mr. Superintendent promptly replied by email with a grateful acknowledgment, stating that he would bring Coach Rock’s resignation to the Board at its next meeting.
There are no secrets in Nutmeg, and somehow word of Coach Rock’s resignation was soon the topic of controversy. A group of Nutmeg Knights alumni promptly started a Facebook page, “Winning Isn’t Everything,” which accused Mr. Superintendent of age discrimination against Coach Rock and demanded that Coach Rock withdraw what they now described as his “offer” to resign. Coach Rock was touched by this show of support, and he called Mr. Superintendent to say that he had reconsidered and would continue on as coach of the Nutmeg Knights.
Mr. Superintendent was surprised and annoyed by this news, and he told Coach Rock that it was too late for equivocation. “I have your resignation,” he replied curtly, “and the Board will be accepting it at its next meeting.” But Coach Rock was not persuaded, and later that day, he sent Mr. Superintendent another email, stating “To avoid any misunderstanding, please be advised that I have withdrawn my resignation, and I look forward to coaching the Knights for many years to come.”
By the next Board meeting, battle lines were drawn, and a group of Knights football alumni were in attendance, many wearing their old jerseys. During Public Comment, a number of former players gave testimonial to Coach Rock’s influence on their lives. But others spoke in favor of Mr. Superintendent, and one speaker even used part of his three minutes to play a recording of “It’s Time to Say Goodbye.”
Eventually, the Board went on with its meeting, and it addressed the question of Coach Rock’s resignation when it reached the standing agenda item, Personnel Actions. Mr. Chairperson started the discussion by noting that it was time for some new blood in the football program and that the Board should support its Superintendent. Surprisingly, there was little discussion. Mal Content moved to accept Coach Rock’s resignation, and the Board promptly and unanimously so voted.
Is Coach Rock done in Nutmeg?