A Minnesota high school coach—and former police officer—stepped down as basketball coach at Brainerd (Minn.) High, and his reason was clear: some parents were just too much.
“I go from being a cop to this, and it’s one stressful job to another and it’s time for a break,” Scott Stanfield told the Brainerd (Minn.) Dispatch. “Coaching was worse. Coaching has been way worse.
“If you win, it doesn’t matter. If you lose, it doesn’t matter. If their kid doesn’t get enough playing time—look out.”
According to the paper, Stanfield had been with the program for 22 years and the head coach for seven. He points to parents being over-involved starting with young kids on AAU teams.
“I don’t know what it will take, but unfortunately, I think it starts at a very young age,” he said. “Parents feel invested once they pay their way through the AAU experience and the travel experience. They have a lot of time and money invested in that. When the kids reach high school, and they become varsity players no matter what grade—you’re basically bringing ninth- through 12th-grade players together—all four classes together and when they see their investment in time and money not paying off, I think they get a little upset. They see it as wasted time, when in fact, if they could take a step back and look at school-based athletics and the great things a kid can get out of it.”
Stanfield was careful to point out that the issue was with just a small portion of parents. Still, he seems overwhelmed by this vocal minority.
“It’s just not worth it,” he said. “If this can help bring some attention to the fact that something needs to change, then it’s worth it, but the vast majority of parents are very supportive.”