March 15, 2013 in Sports

Leiss all but out as Vikings coach

By The Spokesman-Review

Coeur d’Alene High’s administration has recommended not re-hiring boys basketball coach Kent Leiss.

The on-again, off-again saga that began in late January concluded Thursday when Leiss was told by Principal Warren Olson and athletic director Todd Gilkey in a 1-hour meeting about the recommendation they will send to the school board. The recommendation will go before the board at a meeting April 8.

“We are looking at the overall health of the boys basketball program and believe we need to change the direction of the program,” Gilkey said in a prepared statement e-mailed to newspapers.

A phone call to Gilkey was not returned.

Two days after a group of disgruntled parents met with Olson, Gilkey and assistant superintendent Rosie Astorquia on Jan. 30, Leiss resigned with three games remaining in the regular season.

Leiss, 49, said he was told if he didn’t step down he would be removed.

Then late last month, Leiss rescinded his resignation. He said he wasn’t trying to return to the team this season, but was hoping to clear his name.

He was in his 10th season as head coach and the Vikings were 10-7 at the time he stepped down. They finished 13-10. His record at CdA was 140-91 and 328-216 in 24 seasons.

“They (Olson and Gilkey) said I wasn’t developing positive relationships with my players and parents,” Leiss said. “I thought I had positive relationships with my players. Parents are tricky.”

Leiss said he’ll probably take at least a year away from coaching.

“I’m not sure if I’ll coach again,” he said.

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