Meade pulls contracts, seeking new basketball, football coaches

400-game winner Young, Frye can reapply for jobs

May 06, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Meade High School did not renew the contracts of veteran boys basketball coach Butch Young and Mark Frye, the school's football coach for the last two seasons.

Schools can automatically renew contracts or choose not to, as in these two cases.

Meade principal George Kispert said both coaches "will have the option to apply" again for their positions.

"Basically, the positions are being advertised, because both [men] are `emergency coaches' and not current Board of Education employees," said Kispert. "They need to throw their names back in the ring."

County school employees get preference for coaching jobs, which can be filled externally if qualified internal applicants cannot be found.

Kispert said the basketball vacancy will not be advertised until the summer, but that the football job has been open several weeks with May 17 the application deadline.

Young, a coach and physical-education teacher for 35 years at Brooklyn Park, Severna Park and Meade, retired from teaching two years ago but stayed as basketball coach. Frye has an extensive background in youth football and was an assistant at both Severna Park and Meade.

Young is the third winningest basketball coach in county history. His career mark of 445-285 (.609) in 32 seasons, the last 22 at Meade, make him one of fewer than 20 coaches in Maryland history to achieve 400 wins.

Last winter, the 24-3 Mustangs set a county record for wins in a season and were ranked sixth in The Sun's final Top 20 after advancing to the state final four at Cole Field House for the fourth time under Young.

Sources familiar with the situation say that friction between the Young and Kispert has increased since Young left teaching. The coach was suspended for a game last winter for a reason neither side has made public.

"I can't comment on that, because it's a personnel matter, and I have to honor that," said Kispert.

Sources close to Young said that he recently received "a letter of termination." He confirmed getting a letter but would not reveal its content.

"Right now, it looks like my position has been re-opened, and I don't know if I can re-apply or not," is all Young would say. "I did have one coach call and say he was surprised I retired [from coaching]. I did not retire -- I will tell you that."

Young built one of the metro area's top programs at Meade and was named county Coach of the Year in 1983, 1993 and 1998 and The Baltimore Sun Metro Coach in the Year in 1993.

Well liked by his peers and current and former players, not to mention scores of county teachers and administrators, Young is a county basketball pillar.

Asked if he were concerned about backlash from the community if Young does not get his job back, Kispert replied: "I haven't thought about it. But I have to do what is good for the overall program, and anytime you make decisions like this, you run the risk of backlash."

About filling the job, Kispert said, "We probably will decide on the coach over the summer, after we see who applies."

Frye, whose football team was 5-5 last fall and 12-8 in his two seasons, succeeded Jerry Hartman, who is still on Meade's faculty but left coaching with a 19-24 record in four seasons but playoff appearances in the last two.

Kispert would not say if Hartman is a candidate for his old job.

Another former Meade football coach, Hayes Henderson, the Mustangs' track coach, is an applicant. Henderson, who was fired as coach after his 1990-92 teams went 89-22, also has filed a grievance, because he is a county teacher and wants the football post back.

Kispert, who will not learn if he is returning as Meade's principal until the school board tells him "near the end of the year," said he expects to decide on the football job "before school ends, because it's a fall sport."

Pub Date: 5/06/99

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