Rogers won't disrupt current hoops season

January 20, 1998

Rogers won't disrupt current hoops season


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Martinsburg High School basketball coach Victor L. Holmes will remain on the bench throughout the rest of this season after former coach Dave Rogers announced he will not disrupt the team to enforce a grievance board ruling in his favor.

"We're certainly not going to make any move in the middle of the season to disrupt the continuity of that team," Rogers said Monday of the Bulldogs, whom he'd coached for 19 years before giving up the helm in 1994 to become principal of South Middle School.

"Those kids need to know that their coach at this present time, Mr. Holmes, is going to be with them through the rest of the season," Rogers said.


He said the ruling last Tuesday by Administrative Law Judge Jeff Weatherholt could have allowed him to take over the coaching position immediately, but "this is the right thing to do for the kids."

According to Rogers, his attorney Larry Schultz had been unable to reach Holmes' attorney Danny Staggers since the decision and they did not know Monday whether Holmes would appeal the decision by the West Virginia Education and State Employees Grievance Board to reinstate Rogers.

Schultz said Thursday that Holmes could appeal the ruling to the Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Staggers and Holmes could not be reached Monday evening.

Rogers had been assistant principal at Martinsburg High School when then-superintendent James Bennett offered him the position of principal at the middle school.

"I got out of basketball to be a principal and I was led to believe that I had to get out of coaching," Rogers said.

Schultz said last week that there is no law or regulation prohibiting principals from being coaches.

Holmes was hired as the interim coach for one year, after which Rogers applied for the post and was rehired for the 1995-96 season. Holmes appealed to the grievance board and won in January 1996, although he waited until the start of the next season to take over.

In June of that year, a board judge affirmed Holmes' reinstatement. Last week, Rogers won the latest appeal.

"The judge went back to qualifications," Rogers said of the ruling. Weatherholt ruled Rogers was the best- qualified applicant when he was rehired for the 1995-96 season, the former coach said.

Rogers took the Bulldogs to the state AAA championship in 1994.

Martinsburg was ranked eighth in The Herald-Mail Top 10 Saturday with a 7-3 record.

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