Supporters of ousted varsity coach demand answers from board

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Photo by Dennis Mansfield

Dave Dalton, the longtime coach for the Kalkaska girls varsity basketball team, was reportedly given few good options by KPS administrators recently. That led to the Blazers coach of the last 23 years to step down. Over his coaching career, Dalton, racked up more than 400 wins and led teams to two regional championships, eight district and six conference titles.

 

KALKASKA – The outrage over the ouster of longtime Kalkaska girls varsity basketball coach Dave Dalton went from the locker room to the board room, as supporters of the retired teacher and coach voiced their frustration at the Kalkaska Public School Board of Education meeting Monday, July 9.

Dalton, who had coached the Blazers varsity squad for 23 years and had more than 40 years of coaching experience, was recently notified by district administrators he needed to make some hard choices, basically forcing him to step down in the eyes of many.

“What happened here was wrong,” said district resident Gary Stosio. “A good coach. There was no reason for this.”

At issue, according to reports, was that the hours at the district’s alternative high school where Dalton was set to teach part time are slated to be increased to include an extra class period.

Dalton reportedly was using the teaching job to supplement his income with the pension he receives, but to get the pension he has a cap on the amount of money he can earn. When it was determined the additional pay from teaching and his coaching salary exceeded that amount, the school district gave him only days to decide which job he would keep.

Wanting to coach six returning players that helped the Blazers to a 17-6 record last fall, Dalton offered to coach on a voluntary basis. However, he was told that wasn’t possible because of contract issues.

But, supporters weren’t happy that another option couldn’t be found to keep Dalton on the court and they let school board members know it.

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