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Coach Bob Letsch is back in the lineup for the boys basketball program at St. Catherine’s High School.
After an intense backlash by both the St. Cat’s family and the Racine community after Letsch was fired over the weekend by school administrators, the coach was reinstated Tuesday by the school’s board of directors.
Board members directed school administration to extend Letsch a one-year contract for the next school year.
“I would say yes because I`ve said all along this whole process I want to coach, and I want to be with those players,” Letsch told the station.
While supporters marched in support of Letsch in the rain Monday evening, the board met to discuss the situation. On Tuesday, they released a statement explaining their decision.
“While the Corporate Board of St. Catherine’s does not typically participate in personnel matters, we regret that the Board was not involved in the Administration’s decision not to renew the annual contract of Mr. Bob Letsch.
In accordance with the Board’s obligation to review and take action on certain personnel matters, and considering the best interests of St. Catherine’s, the Board directs that the Administration offer Mr. Letsch a one year contract to coach the St. Catherine’s Varsity Boy’s Basketball Team for the 2014-2015 season.”
The statement does not take school President Christopher Olley or Athletic Director Corey Scheel to task for Letsch’s ouster. Instead, the letter from Board Chair Rick Granite urges the St. Cat’s family to cease the negative comments found on social media and to put this incident behind them.
“Although the board voted to reverse this decision, we support our president, Christopher Olley, the administration and our athletic director. It’s time to move on toward unifying all of our St. Catherine’s community … I ask for everyone to discontinue these negative attacks. We all will rally around this difficult time and grow from it,” the letter concludes.
Reaction on the Support Coach Letsch Facebook page was swift, with some people not willing to be so easy on Olley but others agreeing with Granite.
“The many sentiments expressed regarding the dismissal of Mr. Olley do not equate ‘personal negative hate.’ I have not seen one comment anywhere that reflects this. I also do not see where ‘these people care deeply about our school’ based upon their treatment of Coach Letsch,” Lisa Caspers wrote. “Regardless, it is time to come together, support each other and our beloved Alma Mater. Let’s heal this deep wound and move forward. Peace.”