Red Bank Lions Roaring Mad About Unexplained Firing Of Favorite And Beloved Football Coach - And Response (2)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Yesterday, Lion Country was rocked by horrible news. The beloved and cherished head football coach was fired with no reasoning. The news spread through Lion Country which left fans and students confused. The administration is closed lip about the reason behind the firing. The principal stated in the media " they chose for the school to go in another direction".

Coach Grabowski did not do anything illegally nor questionable. The million dollar question is why?Nobody is willing to say why Coach G was dismissed.

The Red Bank High School A D was out of the loop and was just as shocked as everyone else. The principal and two of the vice principals had a meeting with Coach G. Why was the A D nor involved? Many of the alumni,fans and families feel that it is backdoor politics at play.

Coach Grabowski was the type of coach that future players wanted to play for. His work ethic is hard and his belief in his players is unchangeable. The players say that if it was not for him, they would not be playing and struggling in school. He has made such an impact on the school, community and team. Coach "G" cared so much for his players that he would stand over an injured player until they carried the player off. He has done so much for the school and community just to be done dirty by that same school. 

Red Bank High School football team were one step away from going to the state finals this year. This was a task that has not happened since 2000 with then head coach Tom Weathers. The community got behind the team and filled Red Bank Community Stadium. The electric buzz filled the stadium as Red Bank got closer and closer to the playoffs. Coach Grabowski had only one losing season in his four years as head coach. The old Red Bank football was back. The families of the players,band and even those RB alumni with the cowbells were excited and enthused about the great season. 

 With the news, most are saying boycotting next football season. We cannot do that because of Coach G's players need our support even more. I can't imagine how mad and bad that they feel right now. Their mentor is now gone. We would understand it if he did something illegal or dishonest. He did not do any of those things. It will be interesting who will fill the position. Most feel that someone wanted the job and had pull- political.

The alumni are up in arms over this. They are ashamed on how their school acted so horribly. Why did Principal Harper and whoever took it upon themselves to let go of Coach G? Rumors are swirling around and lies abound. 

We as supporters of the fired coach are going to stand tall and firm until we get answers. This closed mouth and closed doors needs to be opened and explain the reasoning. Do not hide behind those closed doors in silence. The student body, families, fans and alumni deserve the "true answers" as to why fire Coach Chad Grabowski. It is rather odd to fire a successful coach who loves his players and community.

Red Bank deserves answers. How about it Principal Harper? We want answers.

Laura Crane-Class of 1982 RBHS alumni 

* * * 

It is clear that the principal of Red Bank High School, Elaine Harper, made a very poor decision in firing their head football coach. The decision to fire him is unjust, and the way she went about making that decision is in a word, shady.  

However, the parents and alumni of Red Bank High School aren't doing themselves, their children, the fired coach, or themselves any favors by the way they are handling this entire situation.  This situation is a snowball that seems to be going downhill faster and faster, and someone's going to wind up hurt.

There is widespread support for Coach G as he is affectionately known, throughout the Red Bank community.  But how much of that is genuine support, and how much of is that is just upset parents who want to win football games?  There are several facebook pages that while they claim they were created to support and honor Coach G, they in fact are nothing but a means to trash the principal and spread vicious rumors about her.  Everyone in Red Bank claims to be upset at the firing of the coach...and yet, other than shooting their mouths off on social media, no one is doing anything productive about the situation.

For starters, Principal Harper needs to come clean, yesterday.  She may have very legitimate reasons for firing Coach G, but in going about it the way she did, and the very vague. aloof statement she gave to the public concerning his firing, all she's done is create a civil war within the Red Bank community.   Adding to that war is the demand by the community as to why Coach G's fellow coaches and teachers aren't rushing to his defense.  Very simple...Hamilton County Department Of Education would not hesitate to retaliate against any of their employees who publicly came out against the decision to fire him.  My mother was a teacher within the Hamilton County School system long ago.  She publicly came out against a certain policy at the school she was teaching at.  My mother, who by then was elderly, was promptly reassigned to the most dangerous school in the district, assaulted in her first week of teaching at that school, and was forced to retire.  No teacher or coach in their right mind would publicly risk their job or retaliation, because they all know what HCDE is capable of.

But all of this craziness does beg a certain question...the Red Bank community is demanding answers as to why he was fired.  Why does Red Bank believe they are entitled to such information? Ms. Harper publicly stated that Coach G didn't break any laws, and he didn't break any policy that resulted in his firing.  Since that is the case, why he was fired is not the business of anyone but Coach G, and the people who fired him.  If he chooses to share why he was fired that's one thing, but the community does not in fact have a right to know why he was fired. That's not their business.

Red Bank needs to get a grip on itself before they make this situation any worse.  Facebook and other social media pages trashing the principal and her decision are not helping Coach G.  Demanding answers is not helping Coach G.  Turning this into a three ring circus is not helping Coach G.  People are saying Principal Elaine Harper gave the school a black eye by doing this.  Well, pot, meet kettle, because the irrational, immature actions of many parents and alumni are giving the school another black eye.   

My son attended and graduated from Red Bank High School a few years ago, and I'm so glad he's no longer a student there.  This is not the Red Bank High School we knew, loved, and supported, and we couldn't be more ashamed right now to be Red Bank Lions.  Principal Harper brought some of that shame...the alumni and parents are bringing the rest of that shame.  And what everyone seems to have forgotten are the students.  They're the ones getting caught up in all of this and have to contend with the poor decisions and actions of the adults. 

Jan Carlson 

* * * 

I know very little about the community of Red Bank and less about the Red Bank High School. 

The public at large either knows much more than their comments reveal, or they are not aware of something that the fired coach is involved in. Here are quotes from Ms Crane and Ms Carlson. 

"Coach Grabowski did not do anything illegally nor questionable." 

"Ms. Harper publicly stated that Coach G didn't break any laws, and he didn't break any policy that resulted in his firing." 

If those quotes are true, then what is left that would trigger such a firing? Think about it. 

Teddy Ladd
Ooltewah



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