Koelble: Shreffler's firing defies all basic logic

April 26, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE
  • Tim Koelble
Tim Koelble

I’ll admit I’m from the old school of thought.

I’m a firm believer in letting teachers teach, coaches coach, players play and parents shut up.

It is so tough nowadays to get good coaches because they’re buried with so many issues outside the boundaries of the game, namely dealing with parents.

And that is the issue that ignited a fire in Chambersburg when the Chambersburg Area school board voted to oust veteran boys basketball coach Shawn Shreffler on Wednesday.

Allegedly, Shreffler used some profanity in the locker room at times and there were some parents in the district that didn’t care for that behavior. They were also parents who had boys on the team not getting enough playing time.

It didn’t make any difference that Shreffler, despite losing his top player to a season-ending injury just days before the 2011-12 season began, coached the Trojans to a District 3 championship this year.

It didn’t make any difference that Shreffler won nearly 250 games in 15 years at a school driven to succeed in sports.

There were some parents, and probably a handful of others, who have virgin ears and just don’t understand what goes on in anything.

If there is a parent, to this day, who thinks his boy or girl has never heard a curse word or said one themselves, then it is time to wake up and smell the roses.

I can tell you on Wednesday, walking to the baseball diamond at North Hagerstown, I was in close earshot of two softball players heading to their field. Let me tell you, it was no surprise the language I heard.

So, legal threats were most likely made, and the Chambersburg school board added a hearing on Shreffler to its agenda Wednesday night and immediately voted 5-4 to not bring him back.

I’m even perplexed that there were five board members who voted to oust Shreffler. Maybe they’ve never been around sports.

Look at Gary Williams, the former Maryland basketball coach. You know how demonstrative and vocal he was.

Dare I suggest to all coaches, in any sport, that you had better watch your tongue. You are on unofficial notice concerning your behavior.

I’d not be at all surprised if there is a revolt at Chambersburg Area Senior High School of some sort in support of Shreffler. Or, against the school board. What a black eye this is on CASHS.

I can hear it now during the interview process for the next head coach and a prospect is asked, “Have you ever used profanity?”

It will take some time to recover from this bash.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7376 or by email at

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