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Parents call for Niles McKinley coach’s ouster

Published: Fri, November 20, 2009 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Jordan Cohen

Another coach’s wife vowed a recall petition if parents aren’t satisfied with the board’s response.

NILES — Angry parents demanded the resignation of high school head football coach Brad Yeager at Thursday’s board of education meeting and called for an “outside investigation” of his treatment of players.

Tammy Baker, wife of seventh-grade head coach Lonnie Baker, told the board that if the parents aren’t satisfied with the response, “we will be gathering signatures for a recall if necessary.”

Tammy Baker’s son had been a quarterback for the Niles McKinley varsity team, and she alleged he was mistreated by Yeager and rarely was allowed to play.

In a prepared statement, Baker presented a list of allegations including “physical threats of violence against players after a game” and violations of the teacher code of conduct. She did not mention Yeager’s name during her comments to the board but acknowledged after the meeting her complaints were directed at the coach.

Yeager has completed his second season as head football coach after being hired in January 2008. He posted season records of 2-8 and 4-6. He also is a ninth-grade science teacher.

Baker’s husband, who also addressed the board, claimed that Yeager demanded his resignation earlier in the season over statements Yeager alleged Lonnie Baker made.

“He did not hear my side of the story,” Lonnie Baker said.

He refused to resign and is still seventh-grade coach.

“You’ve got teachers walking these halls telling these kids [they’re terrible] when they lose a game,” Baker said. “It’s not about winning games. It’s about teaching kids life.”

Another parent told the board that had Baker resigned during the sixth week of the seventh-grade season, “there would not have been a week seven.”

Neither Superintendent Rocco Adduci nor members of the board responded after the parents spoke. After the meeting, Adduci declined to comment.

Tammy Baker said she was particularly upset over what she called Yeager’s “mistreatment” of her son. After the meeting, she denied that the issue involved her son’s lack of playing time.

“This is about demoralizing a child and defamation of his character,” she said. “We’ve had 12 seniors walk off the field three times because of the way they were treated.”

Yeager did not attend the board meeting and could not be reached to comment.

The Bakers demanded that the board provide a copy of the policy on work-force violence “within 10 days.” Board President Marlene Rhodes said the material has been available on the school district’s Web site for several years.

About 40 people attended Thursday’s board meeting, well above the usual turnout.


1mahoningvalley12(36 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

sounds like some sour grapes on the parent's part...poor lil johnny didn't play enough so they want the coaches head on a platter.
coaches, right or wrong, have to motivate young men and they go about that a multitude of ways from yelling to praising...which is what bosses do in the real world so I would argue that the coach was teaching them life lessons.
don't be fooled either because this is about wins and losses if this coach had won 8 games and went the playoffs that board meeting would have 5 people at it, so i am not buying their sorry reasons.
parents shouldn't be allowed to make policy decisions that is what they pay administrators for and if it is in the best interest for the kids for this coach to remain he should if not then he should go its very simple

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2Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe mommys boy wasn't good enough to play QB. Parents please let your children grow up to be adults and take criticism and let them take the good with the bad. One day your going to have to let go of the purse strings. geez.

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3Buckeyebob(1 comment)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Don't make your personal problems at home a public issue. If your son isn't good enough to make the Niles team with open enrollment take him to Warren so he can sit on the bench there! People have disagreements daily in the workplace, they DO NOT belong in the public forum!!! Sour grapes make BAD WHINE!

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4inthegame1(2 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Awful. That boy was their only qb that got them to score. Liberty. Beaver Local...down 14-0 brought them back for the win. They never scored after that boy left. So, hate the parents for standing up, but dont knock the kid. He has great qualities to be a leader

If you read any of this, you would realize that this had nothing to due with playing time. This was about the mistreatment of PLAYERS as in more than one.

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5bucknut09(13 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like coach Yeager is "teaching his kids life". Unfortunately our society has become too politically correct.

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6Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

inthegame, so one game makes him a superstar? wow, the colleges will be calling him.....of course with his mom as his agent......

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7dragonlady(2 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't know what community you people are talking about, but I am not part of it. This has everything to do with playing time. How about this....We wont waste any more money on coaches. We'll let the parents coach, call it little league and we wont keep score. I can't believe a coach is getting crucified for putting his best players on the field. Why don't you take the 25 parents that won't let their kids play if coach Yeager is the coach and go somewhere else. It's that simple.

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8dragonlady(2 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Oh ya Lonnie, you said you were asked to step down as 7th grade football coach, but you failed to tell the "community" why. Did it have anything to do with you in the stands drunk, MFing coach Yeager. The same coaching staff you are a part of. NOT GOOD.....The saddest part of this whole thing is your son is a wonderful kid and he doesn't deserve this.

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9KISS(1 comment)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I have never commented on Vindy.com before and I guess I feel the need to now because I feel real bad for the kid...He is an awesome person and a good athlete. Coach Y had a few decisions to make and different circumstances called for different actions. He played who he thought could push them forward. It is not one coach's fault for the past few years. Grow up parents and if this board and town listens to one whiney mother and fires this coach, its pathetic. Niles does not pay very well, I know...
The coaches they get, reflect quite often, on what the system will buy...These kids and coaches in all sports, track, basketball, baseball, etc... work harder and have more heart than any kid in this area. They have nothing to train with yet return day after day to strive for something greater than themselves. Suck it Up parents when your kid cant play, suck it up if you hear a swear word or two...Truth is, every coach is in it for the kids...surely not the money, and definately not for unsupportive parents.

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10computernerd69(1 comment)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

This is horrible. Things the parents may be doing are wrong, but they're sticking up for their kid. yeah, the son didn't play much, but nobody knows what went on at practice, or after the games. Mr. Yeager is a nice guy, so who knows what went on but none of this is the sons fault. He was a good player, and its a shame that all of this is happening. Hopefully things will clear over because this is getting out of control. If Yeager gets fired over this, I'll be outraged. This manner probably could have been done a little better, possibly more confidential too.

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