Northeast athletic director Bob Grimm confirmed yesterday that his contract is not being renewed after 15 years at the Pasadena school.
Grimm said he received his yearly evaluation from principal Joseph Carducci Jr. and learned that he was not being retained. The one-paragraph statement included criticism of Grimm as "pursuing a course of action independent or contradictory to that of the principal."
The evaluation also accused Grimm of "insubordination."
"That's 15 years in a paragraph," Grimm said from his Millersville home.
Carducci took over for retired principal Joseph Cardamone on Feb. 1.
"Bob mentioned to me back a ways that if I wasn't happy with the way he performed his job, that it was a one-year job and I could feelfree not to renew his contract. I've chosen that option," Carducci said.
"I feel like whatever happens in the athletic program is ultimately my responsibility and I need to feel like I have somebody who is compatible with me and my philosophies."
Grimm said Carducci became upset after learning that the finals of the school's yearly four-team Easter boys lacrosse tournament would take place on Good Friday.
"It takes months to schedule these things. (Carducci) didn't become principal until the end of January, and by then, I didn't have months to do it," Grimm said.
"What I was doing was based on the regulations of the previous principal, who said we couldn't do anything on Easter Monday. That only leaves Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We did it Thursday and Friday primarily so we would have Saturday as a rain date.
"This guy comes along and says I didn't do what the principal wanted me to do. But I did what the previous principal wanted to do. It's a Catch-22 situation."
Carducci would not single out that episode as a factor in his decision. "We're getting into an area where I don't feel I could comment and still maintain what I feel would be the needed confidentiality in this area," he said.
Grimm saidhe felt his termination as athletic director was a possibility, but "in the last couple of weeks, things seemed to be improving somewhat.I was a little surprised and taken aback because I thought things had improved somewhat.
"All I said was it was unfortunate that our relationship started off as it did, with a difference of opinion with the lacrosse tournament. And that I hope he finds someone who would be genuinely interested in continuing the program."
Grimm will continue as a social studies teacher, his position for the last 24 years.He said he did not plan any action.
"It's a one-year contract, and he certainly is within his authority to make this decision. It's that way for every coach's contract. The only difference is he gave me an unsatisfactory rating," Grimm said.
"Actually, the man may be doing me a favor. If I retire after 30 years, he's making my last fiveyears as a teacher more relaxed and low-key. If you weigh the pros and cons of this position, and practically any AD will tell you this, the cons far outweigh the pros, with the long hours and the headachesand high blood pressure and ulcers."
Grimm's removal as athletic director comes at the completion of one of the most successful seasons in the school's history, with the softball and baseball teams winning 2A state championships.
"I think the success of the athletic program is primarily because
of Bob Grimm," said Bart Rader, the Eagles football coach since 1983.
"He does an outstanding job. I guess people don't understand how hard he works and how well organized heis. He's a terrific person.
"I think he's pretty hurt. I guess I would be, too, if I invested that much of my life in it. Fifteen years is a long time."
Grimm said his removal from the athletic department has forced him to resign from his job as treasurer of the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association. He said he also will not renew his membership in the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and will not seek re-election as treasurer of the Coaches Association of Anne Arundel County.
The election is scheduled to take place next week.
Carducci said a letter will be sent to the Human Resources Department in Annapolis requesting that the athletic director's job be advertised, and a replacement will be chosen "fairly soon."