Two board members said the coach should have brought the issue to them sooner.
By MARY SMITH
McDONALD -- Parents of cross country runners, grades seven through 12, urged the board of education to hire a second, qualified cross county coach in a paid supplemental position.
The parents said the coach would probably mentor girls for the 52 cross country team runners who have come out for the sport this year.
They noted there were 60 runners last year, all under the leadership of head coach Chris Rupe, who has two volunteer assistants.
William Koppel of Utah Avenue presented the board a petition containing 340 names of residents in favor of adding a coach.
Koppel told the board another coach would increase supervision, decrease the chance of liability and increase the attention given each athlete.
Legal issue: Board president Robert McClary said a legal matter must be looked into first -- the contract the district has with its teachers makes provisions for the number of supplemental contracts.
Board treasurer Thomas Radabaugh said it would be the first time in 10 years a contract was reopened for one supplemental position.
The teachers' three-year pact with the district is in its final year this school year. He added that even if the board could act on the matter Thursday, it would be halfway into the season before a coach could be put in place.
Board members Dr. William Kunkle and Atty. William Roux said the coach should have brought the issue to them sooner.
Roux said the board will try to expedite working on the issue, and will need to talk to the athletic director, the superintendent and the high school principal.
McDonald's cross country team was boys Division III state champions in 1999 and both boys and girls teams finished third in the state in 2000.
The teams also have had individual champions at the state level.