HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS, LOCAL NEWS, SPORTS

AD Mum on Volleyball Coach’s Firing

Cox Out As Head Coach at HSHS

Following ‘Inaccurate Evaluation’

 

By Tony A. Archuleta

HERALD Reporter

Athletic Director Craig Cummins declined comment Friday, March 16, on his decision to forego renewal of varsity volleyball head coach Brandi Cox’s contract.

Offered an opportunity by a Herald reporter to issue comment, Cummins tersely replied, “No. No thanks.”

Cummins’ silence on the matter was surprising, considering athletic directors at every level realize that issuing statements to the press is a routine part of the job when it comes to hiring and firing coaches.

Cox, during an interview Monday, said she experienced firsthand the new AD’s apparent penchant for stonewalling.

Cox said a formal evaluation session on Thursday, March 15, began with Cummins handing her the following letter:

“Your volleyball coach evaluation is attached. The process included input from players, parents and administrators. Based on the information collected, I will recommend the HSHS Head Volleyball Coach position for 2012-2013 be posted as open, applications taken and interviews conducted. Upon completion of the application process a recommendation to fill the head coaching position will be made. You are free to apply for the position if you so desire.”

Aside from that letter, Cox said Cummins was mostly uncommunicative.

Cox, who was hired in 2010 by former AD Ted Graham, said the invitation to reapply was insincere at best.

“I refuse to give them the satisfaction of firing me twice,” said Cox. “I’m not that stupid.”

Cox said she was not especially aggrieved by the dismissal itself, although she was looking forward to a potentially defining third year.

Instead, she was disappointed with an evaluation process that she called short on comprehensive inquiry and long on assumption.

Cox noted that Cummins was hired (out of Oklahoma) some four months after the completion of the 2011 volleyball season, and that the sum total of their conversations between January and last week amounted to about five minutes.

Cox said the low scores she received in a two-page evaluation form especially took her aback.

A 38-questionnaire touched on trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. On a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent), 2’s and 3’s show up exclusively in nearly equal measure.

As for citizenship, “Not observed,” Cummins noted.

Cox, a 1993 graduate of HSHS who played volleyball under legendary Tiger volleyball coach Maria Cruz-Bennett, said the evaluation completely distorts her standing as both a longtime member of the community and a 10-year coach at HSHS and Truth or Consequences Middle School.

In her own letter to Cummins, Cox wrote, “Your evaluation lacks factual information, reliable accounts, and credible evidence necessary to provide a valid representation of my performance.

“Your assessment and the manner in which you performed the evaluation are unethical and unprofessional. I can accept my termination as the HSHS volleyball coach; however, I refuse to accept the inaccurate evaluation, allowing such misinformation to become a part of my permanent record.”

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