3-2 Warren board vote keeps Schob as football coach

VINCENT – Warren High School football Coach Andy Schob was approved for another year at the helm Monday despite some board of education members expressing concern about the direction of the program.

The 3-2 vote came near the end of a busy regular meeting in the administration office, which included discussion and votes on facility repairs, substitute bus driver salaries and the proposed state school funding system.

Board members Bob Allen and John Nichols opposed the resolution to employ Schob as coach for the fourth year on a supplemental contract of $6,464 and five assistants at $3,334 each.

“My concern is we seem to be trending downward instead of upward in the football program,” Allen said, noting records of 5-5, 5-5 and 4-6 during Schob’s tenure, compared to 7-3 the year before. “What makes us think this is going to be turned around in the future?”

Board Vice President Debbie West said the win-loss record isn’t the only factor to consider. Being mentors and supporting student-athletes on and off the field or court are important as well, she said.

“Winning is great. I cheer them on, and I hope that they win every game,” West said. “(But) there (are) other things than being a winning season every time.”

Allen agreed Schob is “great with the kids,” but said there are coaches who can do that and have success on the field.

Nichols said he has concerns about some of the assistants, including one returning and one new hire someone else spoke to him about.

“I’ve witnessed mannerisms and language that is not necessary,” he said.

Superintendent Tom Gibbs said he had not been notified of any of the issues Nichols spoke about and asked him to provide more information on them. He and Nichols agreed not to identify the individuals referenced in the public meeting.

“If I’m aware of it, I can attempt to address it,” he said.

While Gibbs agreed an assistant who is not representing the district appropriately should be asked to step down, he said he tries to give head coaches a chance to remedy issues first. As for Schob, Gibbs said “the high school faculty in general supports Mr. Schob and the work that he’s done with the kids.”

Contacted after the meeting, Schob said he did not know of any incidents of inappropriate language like Nichols referenced, but he would not use it and “wouldn’t accept it from my assistants either.”

As for his record, Schob said, his focus is on running a quality program and teaching the players character.

“My main concern is doing what I feel is right with the kids, and hopefully (winning) will take care of itself if you do the right things,” he said.

In other business

The board unanimously approved a bid of $460,000 by Hobbs Industrial Roofing of Canton to make repairs to the roofs of buildings 2 and 3 at the high school and some connector corridors. Hobbs has bid on other projects for the district but not come in as the low bidder before, said Josh Predovich, project manager for SHP Leading Design of Columbus.

The approval was granted pending completion of due diligence by SHP, but Predovich said his company has worked with Hobbs in the past and he has confidence in them.

The work would be done over the summer, with the goal of completing it prior to the start of the 2013-14 school year.

The board voted 5-0 to increase the pay for substitute bus drivers from $10 an hour to $11.50. The district is having trouble finding substitute drivers, Treasurer Melcie Wells said, and the change moves the rate of pay from even with the lowest offered by Washington County districts to tied for the highest.

The board unanimously approved a resolution opposing portions of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s proposed school funding plan that would fund vouchers for private and parochial schools.

“You’re essentially indicating that you have concerns that public tax dollars would be funneled away … to private and parochial schools,” Gibbs said.

Unlike funding for students attending charter schools or other public districts through open enrollment, the money would not be diverted from a student’s home district. But Gibbs said the proposal still uses money that could otherwise support the state’s public education system.

Barlow resident Dan Johnson, a former board member and son of longtime Warren baseball Coach Cecil Johnson, expressed his pride in the accomplishment of the boys high school basketball team, which advanced to the Division II state tournament Saturday with a dramatic 49-47 victory over New Philadelphia. He also praised the community support of the team at its regional and district tournament games at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.

“In our budget-crunch situation … we have been able to bring to the Convo in every situation a larger crowd than any other team,” Johnson said. “The strength of our district is in our people.”

Gibbs told the board that due to the interest of students and staff in going to Thursday’s state semifinal game in Columbus, school would be closed Thursday. Students will make up the day March 27, a date which was originally part of spring break.