An Eastern Illinois football coach took the opportunity of his exit media interviews to drag down the football support staff of the school he was leaving, saying that his team’s lack of success was down a lack of financing and commitment of the board as much as it was to poor play.
The rather dramatic finger pointing episode unfolded in Eastern Illinois, where Collinsville coach Rick Reinhart resigned after his third season in charge of the Kahoks. His time at the school was far from sterling, with Reinhart finishing with a 6-21 overall record, including a 1-8 2017.
Still, Reinhart insisted that he wasn’t leaving strictly because of the results. He was leaving because of his frustration in being unable to achieve them in the future (or at least so he anticipated).
As told to the Belleville News Democrat, Reinhart felt that the board was derelict in its responsibilities for a lack of financial support and general backing for the Collinsville team.
“To say it’s been frustrating the last three years would be an understatement,” Reinhart told the News Democrat. “I don’t feel we’re going the way I want to go.
“We need time and money to get this program right, but I don’t feel like the board is willing to do what we need to do. I don’t understand why football is not on an even playing field with other sports here.”
More specifically, Reinhart said more than one of his ideas to improve the program were sidelined because of funding concerns raised by the board. For a program that has reached the state playoffs just three times in school history, those setbacks were more than idle frustrations. They were deterrents that essentially kept the program from competing at the level Reinhart felt they could … and should.
“We thought we were on our way. All of the sudden we went from it being no problem to not even being able to take our proposal before the board,” Reinhart told the News Democrat.
“We won one game, and, to be honest with you, we probably could have won two more if we’d have taken some guys. But we made a point to set the tone for the future, and the guys just went above and beyond. I love these kids to death.”