TC Basketball Coach Removed
One week before tryouts, less than a month before their first game, T.C. Williams High School has suddenly lost its basketball coach. On Nov. 1, the school’s athletic director announced that Coach Bryan Hill, who also teaches at the school, was not going to be returning for this year’s season. Alexandria City Public Schools has refused to comment on the matter beyond saying there was a breach of policy, but Hill and other parents have publicly spoken out about suspicions underlying the decision.
“The other parents and I hold Coach Hill in very high regard,” said Jefferey Harold, parent to a player on the team. “I won’t say I agreed with every decision, but the positives outweighed the negative.”
Hill has pointed the blame for the issue at School Board member Bill Campbell. According to Hill, Campbell has several times before attempted to have Hill pushed out of the coaching position. After one practice, Hill said Campbell’s son had not been picked up and neither of them could reach Campbell after repeated calls. Hill said he drove Campbell’s son home in his personal vehicle, which he acknowledged was a breach of policy, but said he’d tried in the past to work around issues like this by having a van assigned to the team and there was no support. Hill also said he’d held practices on Sunday, which is a violation of the Virginia High School League’s policies, but said it was frustrating that there were no warnings or reprimands involved.
“I continue to teach at the school, so if it’s an issue where I’m able to continue teaching and being around kids, then it’s clear that someone didn’t want me coaching,” said Hill. “There were administrative options that could have been exercised to keep me … all this has done is sown discord on the team.”
While Hill and the parents present only one side of the story, the school’s reasons for removing Hill from the coaching position are still unexplained.
“While the privilege to coach is a year-to-year stipend-ed opportunity, the decision to renew or not renew that stipend is a personnel matter,” said Campbell in an email. “Therefore and as much as I might want to, it simply would be inappropriate to comment on a personnel matter.”
Principal Dingle Leaving TC
Citing a need for time with family, Dr. Jesse Dingle, principal of T.C. Williams High School, has announced that he will leave the school at the end of the 2016 school year. Dingle has been principal of the school since the end of the 2014 school year when Principal Suzanne Maxey retired.
“What you learn about TC is that people care about this community,” said Dingle. “People in Alexandria love TC.”
When the next principal is chosen, Dingle says that principal will need to be able to embrace the community of the school and of the city at large. Alexandria City Public Schools will begin community outreach for a new principal in December with selection of a candidate in the spring.