Hart's contract as Annapolis boys lacrosse coach not renewed


June 25, 1993|By PAT O'MALLEY

A letter from the Chesapeake Lacrosse Officials to Annapolis High principal Laura Webb has contributed to the removal of Dan Hart as the school's head boys lacrosse coach.

Hart, who succeeded the late Al Laramore, has been at the school eight years, the last five as head lacrosse coach.

"It's a personnel decision, but I can tell you his contract has not been renewed," said Webb.

"The letter from the officials listed three allegations of behavior violations by Dan, and all I can say is, his contract has not been renewed," Webb said.

The letter said that Hart went to the house of Harry Dobson, the commissioner who assigns the officials for each game, after Annapolis' one-goal playoff loss to eventual state 3A-4A champion Broadneck.

Dobson said that Hart "was unhappy over who worked that game." The official Hart was unhappy about was Buzz Winchester, the president of the Chesapeake group who signed the letter on behalf of the executive board.

Hart, who is 45-28 at Annapolis with four postseason appearances including a state runner-up finish, said he had "no comment, because I am talking to an attorney."

Before the letter, Webb felt the season "had gone fine" and free of incident, she said. Last season, Hart had come under fire from officials and parents for his handling of the team, but the situation was resolved.

When asked if there was any chance of Hart being reinstated, Webb said, "I can not comment on that."

Webb said she did not receive any complaints about Hart this season and that "I don't know why they [officials] would wait until the end of the season to send the letter."

A copy of the letter also was sent to Annapolis athletic director Fred Stauffer and county school superintendent C. Berry Carter.

"We just felt his [Hart's] behavior with officials this season was unacceptable and that all the proper authorities should be informed of our concern," said Winchester.

"The letter pointed out problems [with Hart] during the season and asked the principal to modify his behavior," Winchester said. "It was not the intent of the letter to have him removed as coach."

Winchester said it was the only letter filed by the Chesapeake Lacrosse Officials this season and that the intent is "to improve relations with the coaches and schools."

Apparently, Hart's relationship with Winchester is at the center of the problem. Hart said last year, "I told Harry it would be in the best interests of everyone if Winchester did not do our games, because there is a personality conflict."

Such requests are commonplace in high school athletics and are usually resolved by keeping certain officials away from certain games.

Dobson confirmed that a problem existed between the two men and said, "I told Dan I would do my best to keep him [Winchester] off his games, but I had a hard time getting six officials for that playoff game with vacations and people not being available.

"I had to assign someone, and put Buzz on the game. Dan came to my house afterward to ask me why I put him on the game."

Hart was going to change officiating groups before this season, but after Dobson promised not to send Winchester to his games, retained the Chesapeake group.

Winchester, who is the legislative director for the Maryland State Bar Association, did not work any Annapolis games during the regular season.

"I didn't know that he [Hart] didn't want me working his games," said Winchester.

"When I get an assignment, I just do the game. Harry makes the assignments and I go where I'm told," Winchester said. "We had no problems with Hart in that game [Broadneck playoff], no unsportsmanlike penalties or anything and I was told by our man who evaluates us that we did a great job."

Webb said Winchester called her Wednesday and asked if he could release the allegations to the media.

"I told him absolutely not, because this is a confidential personnel decision and not public knowledge," she said.

Dobson, who plans to meet with Webb, said "perhaps something can be straightened out because the letter was not mailed to have [Hart] removed."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.