The Knoxville school board voted 5-to-2 last night in favor of not renewing the contract of varsity volleyball coach Stacey Kavanagh. About 20 people attended the meeting in support of Kavanagh, whose team won over 20 matches last year prior to falling in the regional tournament final. Matt Johnson, a parent, told the board he is tired of the coaching carousel at Knoxville.
“You can’t release a gal that took you to the playoffs,” Johnson said, “and then tell her ‘Hey, go sit down’ and bring somebody else in. There has to be a clear explanation for this. And, this has happened here time and time and time again.”
Also speaking in favor of coach Kavanagh was Carolyn Hise.
“Stacey has excelled the program,” Hise said. “She has brought the girls into — the few years my daughter has played varsity sports…to the Regionals, and they have excelled very well. I don’t believe they have done that the years prior [to Kavanagh coaching], for at least two to three years prior. The team itself, they have a good chemistry with their coach. If the athletes have a good chemistry with their coach, that is also going to make the program excel.”
But even with the show of parental support, Kavanagh was let go by the board without discussion in open session. The board also accepted the resignation of junior high boys basketball coach Brad Turner.