A California girls water polo coach was dismissed from his position at Palo Alto (Calif.) High School because of an act of sheer heavy handedness, per the Palo Alto Daily Post.
Doug Stotland lost his job as head girls volleyball coach after he attempted to discipline one of his players and that athlete’s parents then complained about the coach to school administrators, eventually successfully pressuring them into dismissing the coach.
Per Todd Emanuel, the man who is currently representing Stotland as he aims to gain reinstatement, the player and Stotland developed an acrimonious rapport after they sat down to discuss ways she could improve after the 2018 spring period ended in May. Her behavior allegedly became exacerbated during her current senior season, with Emanuel provided the following reason from the Daily Post
“We don’t blame the player. We blame the school administration for bowing to the pressure,” Emanuel told the Daily Post. “He loves coaching water polo, he loves the kids, he loves the families and he was and is a very devoted coach. He is fighting this because he was terminated for reasons that have nothing to do with his performance or moral character.”
Here’s more from the Daily Post:
The player habitually bullied several other players on the team and sometimes refused to participate in plays during games, said Emanuel. After the meeting between the player and Stotland, the school administration told him he was not allowed to talk to the player and that she was allowed to leave practices whenever she wanted if she felt uncomfortable, said Emanuel.
At a game this month the player “caused quite a bit of difficulty” and Stotland suspended her. A few days later he was fired, said Emanuel.
For now the program continues on without Stotland, though the coach hopes his early legal response will reverse his dismissal. If what he claims about the student athlete and parents allegedly undercutting his disciplinary measures is true, he may still have a chance of returning to Palo Alto or resurrecting his career elsewhere.