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Stay granted in coaching dispute

February 08, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

Stay granted in coaching dispute

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Kanawha County judge has granted a stay allowing Martinsburg High School basketball coach Victor L. Holmes to retain his position until the start of the 1998-99 school year.

By that time, another Kanawha County judge will have likely made a decision on the merits of Holmes' ongoing case. If not, Holmes can ask for another stay for that year.

Judge Irene Berger granted the stay on Friday. Judge Paul Zakaib will determine if a hearing examiner's decision - allowing former coach Dave Rogers to resume his position - should be upheld.

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Holmes' attorney, Danny Staggers, said he is prepared to take the case to the state Supreme Court if Zakaib upholds the hearing examiner's decision.

Rogers had been assistant principal at Martinsburg High when he was offered the position of principal at South Middle School. Rogers, the Bulldogs' coach for 19 years, said he believed he had to quit his coaching position to accept the new job.

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.

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

A grievance board had ruled in favor of Rogers, allowing him to take over his former position immediately. Rogers declined to do so, saying he didn't want to interrupt the Bulldogs' season.

The stay prohibits Rogers from taking over if he changes his mind.

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