Midseason coaching dismissals are the way of the world in big-time college football and the NFL, and it’s not just because football writers need an excuse to write “Hot Seat” articles. It’s much less frequent in high school football, and then typically only sparked by some incident of malfeasance, personal, personnel or otherwise. That apparently wasn’t the case at Wendell High in Idaho, where head football coach Tracy Black was dismissed after the team started the season 0-2.
As reported by the Twin Falls Times-News, Black and his four assistants were all relieved of their duties Thursday, just one day before the team is scheduled to face off against Nevada school Battle Mountain. The coaching team will be replaced by Justin Alsterlund, the former head coach at Canyon Ridge. Asterlund was serving as a teacher at the high school but had not taken any official steps toward joining the coaching staff until the administration reached out after dismissing others.
While it’s possible that Wendell administrators felt the program was in need of a new voice, it’s hard not to sympathize with Black. H spent just more than a year at the school and won just two games in 2015 before being outscored 110-0 in the opening two weeks this year.
“I enjoyed my time there,” Black told the Times-News, hours after he was told of his release. “I was trying to build my program, but everyone wants success right now. It takes patience.
“You don’t do this in the middle of the season. You should do it at the beginning or the end of the year. They didn’t have a reason for it. I thought they wanted a program, not a one-year wonder. … They were trying to fill a position and not build a program. I had no plans of leaving Wendell. I planned on building that program and making something substantial that would blow everyone else out of the water.”