North Kitsap School District denies two coaching contracts

For two of the head coaches in the North Kitsap School District, the fall 2010 season was their last.

Steve Frease, head coach for the NK football team, and Lacey Menne, head coach of the KHS volleyball team, were fired from their coaching positions recently.

Though both coaches went through evaluations, it remains unclear as to the exact reason their contracts were not renewed.

“I feel I’ve supported Kingston High thoroughly,” Menne said. “It was definitely a surprise.”

At the end of each season all district employees who hold extracurricular positions not certified by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction go through an evaluation. The head coach evaluation, done within 30 days after the season ends, is conducted by the athletic director of the high school. All final evaluations are done with the consultation of a school administrator.

Menne coached at KHS since the school opened. She began as a volunteer, taking over as head coach during the 2008-09 school year.

The team ended last season with a losing record of 4-9, but the losing record is not uncommon for the team. During the 2007-08 season, the team ended with an overall record of 1-11. During the 2009-10 season, the team ended with a score of 1-15.

Despite the scores, Menne said she was told the team’s record had nothing to do with the decision to not rehire her as head coach.

The reasons given for Frease’ non-renewal were of similar nature.

The NK football team ended its season with an overall record of 1-9 after the team suffered suspensions and early-season injuries, but Frease was told the decision to not renew his contract was not reflective upon the team’s record.

The district gave Frease the option to retire from his position. After he refused, the district told him he would not be coaching football for the 2011-12 school year.

Though the district would not comment on specifics, it did release a statement about the decision:

“After review, the district has decided to move in a different direction with the leadership of the varsity football program at North Kitsap High School next year and Mr. Frease will not be rehired as the coach. Because this is a personnel matter and involves employee privacy issues, we are unable to comment further.”

At the end of the 2010-11 school year, Frease will complete his twenty-eighth year working in the district. During that time, he has been either an assistant or head coach for baseball or football.

Before taking the head position on the football team in 2005, Frease was the head baseball coach for 11 years.

During his time as coach of the baseball team, he accumulated a record of 158 wins and 83 losses. The team went to multiple district, league and state tournaments.

As a baseball coach, he said he wanted to find a new challenge coaching football.

“We had some pretty good years, just like in football” Frease said of coaching baseball.

Though his coaching contract was not renewed, Frease continues to teach weight training and wellness classes at NK and said it was too early to tell what the future holds.

“I plan to keep teaching, that has been the primary goal all along,” Frease said.

“Anytime you are relieved of your duties it is difficult ... The reality is I need to move on.”

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