Chloe Willrich described Marc Morgan as a man who never gives up.
Chloe, Becca Litz and Bailey Drapola followed that example Saturday, May 26, by looking to rally community support for their cause: the rehiring of Morgan as girls basketball coach at Brookfield High School.
With help from family members, the girls stood along Route 7 in Brookfield Center with signs that read, “Players opinions matter2!,” “Rehire our coach” and “Stats don’t lie.” They received honks and waves in response from passing motorists.
The girls were angered at the school board’s 4-1 decision May 23 not to hire Morgan after two seasons in which his teams won a cumulative 37-11, topped the All-American Conference one year and made the playoffs both years.
“I was just really disappointed,” said Bailey, who is finishing her junior year. “I thought my coach’s stats would have persuaded the board that he’s a great coach.”
But, Morgan’s skills go beyond basketball, the girls said. He’s interested in the girls as people, and what they want to do with their lives, said Chloe, also finishing her junior year.
“He’s a good person,” she said. “He’s a caring person. He has every personality (trait) a coach needs.”
The girls said they want to know why the board made its decision – board President Kelly Carrier said she could not discuss a personnel issue – and are disappointed the board didn’t ask the players for their opinions.
The board members made the decision without getting to know Morgan, how he operated or the impact he had on the team, Bailey said.
There has been talk about the low turnout for basketball – the team only fielded nine players – but the players said you can’t fault Morgan for that.
“There’s not a lot of girls that are interested at all, even if there was another coach,” said Becca, who is finishing her sophomore year.
If the board does not change its decision, will the girls play next year?
“I’ll have to see,” Chloe and Becca said separately from each other.
“Hard decision,” Bailey said. “It’s hard to go from a coach that’s very understanding and very passionate about what he did to a coach that’s very different. Basketball is very important to me, so having a coach that isn’t equal to what I just had is going to be really hard to play for.”