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School board member says ‘political game’ is the reason for Norwalk football coach’s ouster

By Steve Linder • Updated Dec 18, 2017 at 11:20 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a prepared statement that Steve Linder, a member of the Norwalk school board, read during the most recent board meeting. It is printed in its entirety. There was no discussion afterward:

Thank you to those of you who elected me to the Norwalk board of education. I have always believed in honesty, integrity and open communication. Transparency is vital. I recently spoke at the December board of education meeting and said:

I would like to comment on the non-renewal of our football coach Chris MacFarland. What was printed in the Norwalk Reflector on Nov. 30 was not what the board was told last month as the reason for his non-renewal.

I did my research on the allegations given to the board and found they were not true. I was going to share my findings with the board at the December meeting.

I then get phone calls on my way home from work with questions about why are we firing our football coach? When I read the Norwalk Reflector, I find we are non-renewing/firing our football coach due to a stagnant program over the last three (3) years.

So, what is it?

I see this as a political game and not what coach MacFarland has done with our program. He is the winningest coach at NHS in the last 37 years. He worked very hard to help make the Reagan All-Sports Complex a reality. With my research, I have found him to have the respect of previous players, parents, coaches and members of the community.

The board received a letter in the mail from coach MacFarland defending the allegations toward him. With my research, his letter was spot on.

I feel a successful program starts at the top, so tell me where we are failing?

I see two problems with looking for a new coach.

1. Who in their right mind would want to come to a program that just let a winning coach go? To me, that shows no support from the top.

2. If we are thinking of hiring a coach already on staff in our program, that would be a big mistake. They would already be part of a so-called stagnant program.

Stagnant. Obviously we do not treat all coaches the same. Our boys' basketball program has a record of 30-43 over the last three years. Why is this program not considered stagnant?

Stagnant. We have been stagnant with our academics and state grade card for the past few years. Isn't education our primary concern? I remember when we were rated “excellent with distinction.” What should be done here?

I suggest coach MacFarland be renewed for his position as head varsity football coach for the 2018 season. Then, we follow proper protocol that has been set in place for a reason.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Steve Linder is a member of the Norwalk City Schools board of education.

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