Coach takes issue with salary setup

Saying he runs two teams, like Brady, Severna Park's Purpura seeks double pay


High Schools

February 08, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Severna Park cross country and track coach Ed Purpura has filed a complaint concerning coaches' salaries with the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County and cited John Brady, the Annapolis boys and girls basketball coach, as the reason.

Purpura believes that if Brady earns separate salaries to coach the boys and girls teams at Annapolis that he should earn separate salaries to coach the boys and girls cross country teams in the fall and the boys and girls indoor and outdoor track teams in the winter and spring, as first reported in The Washington Post on yesterday.

"We [track coaches] never had anything to complain about until one person [Brady] started drawing two salaries," Purpura told The Post. "That just doesn't seem fair."

Purpura didn't return repeated phone calls from The Sun.

Purpura is arguing over something that his own coaches association set up and agreed to through the teachers association. Susie Jablinske, the teachers association president, said the coaches association "is our affiliate" in negotiating the athletic/extracurricular pay.

Coaches' compensation was structured long ago with track and cross country designated to have one head coach each.

Track and cross country teams practice together and go to the meets together, but compete in separate gender events.

Boys and girls basketball teams do not practice together, sometimes play at opposite sites and on different days.

Track coaches are paid between $2,016 and $3,226, the same scale as baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball and volleyball coaches.

Cross country coaches are on the same scale as cheerleading, golf and tennis coaches -- $1,512 to $2,419. Purpura, a veteran coach, is at the top of the both scales.

Basketball and football coaches are paid between $2,520 and $4,032.

Brady is in his 25th year as the Annapolis boys' coach. He is paid $4,032 for each team he coaches."[Purpura's] comparing apples to oranges and to go after somebody else [Brady] is not the way to go about it," said Marlene Kelly, the county's athletic administrator.

"Track is considered a co-ed sport and one team. That's why we have one head coach."

North County's Ed Harte, a veteran coach of track and cross country, said that the solo indoor track coach is in charge of 60 to 80 kids because there are no organized JV teams.

"Technically we're coaching four teams at once," Harte said. "We have so many more areas in different places to cover. It's not one place in front of you. There is also all the extra paper work for each kid, but I'm not sure there should be two salaries."

Roger Stitt, the Northeast High athletic director, is also a member of the county's Athletic Legislative Committee that establishes the number of coaching positions.

"If he [Purpura] is talking about having two head coaches in each of those sports, then he needs to go through the athletic legislative committee," Stitt said. Jablinske said input from the coaches association is necessary for Purpura's complaint to gain footing.

Brady was miffed that Purpura would single him out as the reason for his complaint.

"Money has never been my motivation to coach," Brady said.

Track winners

After winning its first Anne Arundel County boys indoor track title last week, No. 4 Annapolis added its first boys region title while Northeast earned the girls title at the Class 3A-2A region meet Wednesday night at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.

Mike Brown won the 55 meters and the 55 hurdles, as he had done in the county championships, to pace the Annapolis boys over runner-up Gwynn Park of Prince George's, 92-51.

Brittany Milliken was a triple winner for the Northeast girls, who edged St. Mary's of Leonardtown, 60-55. Milliken won the 800 and 1,600, ran a leg of the Eagles' winning 1,600 relay and a leg on their second-place 3,200 relay.

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