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Springstead struggles to fill coaching jobs

The athletic program has eight positions open but very few candidates.

FRANK PASTOR
Published June 19, 2003

It's a simple case of supply and demand.

Springstead has a full supply of openings for head coaches, but there is little demand for the positions on the part of qualified candidates.

Weeks after the conclusion of the spring season, Springstead continues to search for boys basketball, golf and weightlifting and girls basketball, golf, track, tennis and weightlifting coaches.

Former boys basketball and golf coach Scott Bennett and his wife, Evelene, who guided girls basketball and golf teams, moved to Ohio, where they are expecting their first child.

Eileen Pandolfo stepped down as girls track coach but will continue to teach health and physical education.

Boys weightlifting coach Jason Wetherington was among 18 teachers who lost their jobs due to the school's declining population.

Girls tennis coach Louise Downey and girls weightlifting coach Chris Mock left for Nature Coast Technical High, where Downey will lead the tennis program and Mock volleyball.

Athletic director Bob Levija said Springstead typically has three or four openings at the end of each year.

But Nature Coast's vacancy in the fall, coupled with players' attitudes and little pay, virtually has dried up the coaching pool, Levija said.

"It's very difficult," Levija said. "It's a trend, not just at Springstead. It's a trend all over because people are just not going into coaching."

With fewer teachers interested, schools have had to take their searches off campus or turn away less-qualified applicants interested solely in picking up the supplemental salary.

"They think this is lunch duty," Levija said. "You can go supervise the kids and that's it. You're going to get that type of person applying."

Levija hopes to fill the basketball openings soon, so Springstead's players can begin participating in summer leagues.

But first, the AD needs the approval of new principal Susan Duval, who arrived Monday.

"It's like a domino effect," Levija said.

"As soon as she gives me the okay on a couple of things, hopefully it will all start falling into place and we'll start making some moves."

- Frank Pastor can be reached at 800 333-7505, ext. 1430. Send e-mail to pastor@sptimes.com

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