Two days after a group of disgruntled parents met with school administrators alleging verbal abuse, Coeur d’Alene boys basketball coach Kent Leiss abruptly resigned Friday afternoon, effective immediately.
“I know I’m straight forward and some may look at it as being abusive,” Leiss said. “I don’t sugarcoat it. I’ve gotten along with almost all of my players over the years. It’s the parents that might not like my approach, not necessarily the kids. I would call my coaching tough love.”
Leiss, 49, was in his 10th season at CdA, where the Viks were 10-7 overall and 2-3 in second place in 5A Inland Empire League. His record at CdA is 140-91 and 328-216 in 24 seasons overall.
Former Lake City girls coach Darren Taylor has been appointed interim coach with three games left in the regular season, including a game this afternoon at Post Falls (8-10, 1-3).
CdA athletic director Todd Gilkey said he and Principal Warren Olson and Rosie Astorquia, CdA School District director of secondary education, met with parents of 10 of 13 varsity players on Wednesday. They aired concerns about Leiss and volunteer assistant coach John Nacarrato, who was removed from his position Friday. About 25 people attended the meeting.
Officials had meetings with Leiss on Thursday and Friday before he decided to resign.
“What was told to me is the parents were upset with what they thought was an abrasive attitude,” Leiss said.
Leiss said administrators told him he had no alternative but to resign.
“They were acting as if they were acting in my best interest,” Leiss said. “What I find ironic about it is in 24 years I’ve never had a negative evaluation in the classroom or in coaching. I always told myself that I’m not going to hang around if somebody doesn’t want me.”