SCHOOLS Canfield board debates fate of coach

The executive session had not ended at press time.
CANFIELD -- Parents of current and former Canfield High softball players came to the board of education meeting Wednesday night to ask the board not to renew the contract of the team's head coach.
The complaints caused the board to go into an executive session lasting more than four hours to discuss the future of Fred Mayhew, who has coached the Canfield softball program since 2000. Board members also interviewed players and parents during the executive session, which had not ended at press time.
Mayhew, who is also a minister at nondenominational Trinity Fellowship Church, has coached the team on a series of one-year contracts. Parents at the meeting said that the board has rehired Mayhew although there have been other applicants for the position.
The softball program has produced some successful seasons under Mayhew, who was a volunteer coach under his predecessor, Tom Olinsky. Olinsky shot and killed his wife and himself in 1999.
"This is not the worst the softball program has been," said board president Bruce Brocker.
But parents at the meeting criticized Mayhew's coaching methods and handling of his players.
"The girls are subjected to continual mental and emotional abuse," said Nancy Zunic, whose three daughters are former players for Mayhew.
A player present at the meeting said that Mayhew also conducted informal "backyard" practices that did not include all the players.
Mayhew was not present at the board meeting.

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