The varsity and junior varsity girls basketball coaches at Salmon High in Idaho resigned suddenly after the varsity coach’s car was severely vandalized. Both coaches reacted to the incident by fearing for their safety, leaving the program and the remainder of both the varsity and junior varsity seasons in jeopardy.
Varsity coach Richard Barany’s car had its tires slashed and a headlight smashed out while the team traveled for an away basketball game. Barany resigned after witnessing the car’s condition when they returned, and junior varsity coach Sarah Foster resigned in kind, leaving both programs and the remainder of their 2017-18 seasons in jeopardy; both teams’ future games were suspended while attempts are made to locate successors at both the varsity and junior varsity level.
“He was a good coach. He didn’t play favorites, he had great ideas and he stuck with us, even when we were on a losing streak,” Hailee Davis, one of the team’s captains, told the Post Register. “It’s just very, very sad. We could count on him as our coach and we don’t have a lot of people willing to do that for us.”
While the Salmon athletic director Jeremy Burgess said that it remains possible that the vandalism in question was an act of random violence, the possibility that it was a targeted message directed at Barany in his role as a coach made his decision to resign more than justified.
As for Barany and Foster’s future in the district, both have indicated they will continue to teach at the school, and will hopefully cheer on their teams from afar if their replacements are found.
“You can’t blame them for doing what they did,” Burgess told the Post Register of the coaches’ resignations.