LANCASTER – A recent Antelope Valley Union High School District board workshop on the process of picking coaches will likely produce two key recommendations the board could act on by the end of the calendar year. Recent controversies – such as when Lancaster High replaced longtime softball coach Dean Johnson, a “walk-on” coach who is an insurance broker, with Krista Humphries, a Lancaster High teacher – illustrated what several board members called common misconceptions about the process. The board will seek a language change designed to clarify conditions of the one-year contracts that athletic coaches in all sports have long agreed to but apparently often misunderstood, and it will review the timetable under which administrators can fill open coaching positions, board member Al Beattie said. Assistant Superintendent Tim Azevedo presented a revised contract draft stating that coaches “understand that this assignment is for a maximum of one year and may be terminated by the board at any time.” The draft also calls for a coach to acknowledge understanding “that I must reapply for any subsequent years I am interested in returning as coach.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’School officials said the revised language does not make a substantive change in terms of the contract, but is intended to dispel misconceptions about the tenure of coaches, especially “walk-on” coaches who are not teachers or other district employees. School officials said they must favor school employees seeking coaching jobs over walk-ons equally qualified to coach because of a court ruling known as the Rialto case. “I think there’s some public misperception about the tenure of the coaches, and I think the walk-on coaches share in that misperception,” Beattie said. All positions open when a contract expires March 15 of each year, and any additional application automatically triggers an interview process, officials said. Privately, however, administrators say there is an unwritten rule in football that a sitting coach simply isn’t challenged. The board is also likely to recommend “seasonalizing” a hiring timetable that, under terms of a current collective-bargaining agreement, does not permit open positions to be filled until the March 15 contract expirations, Beattie said. Under current conditions, coaches in sports such as football aren’t hired until the late spring, creating an “untenable situation,” Jim Bauer, athletic director at Knight High School, said. Beattie said the current timetable was established before football became a year-round sport for training purposes. A hiring-timetable shift would require union agreement, which Beattie said the board would broach once the two sides conclude contract negotiations. “I don’t see a big problem with it,” Beattie said. “I see it as mutually beneficial.” Several coaches and athletic directors offered impassioned pleas about lack of funding in their schools. Quartz Hill High’s athletic director, Coy Ray, said the baseball team had to rely on booster club fundraising to buy uniforms, which he said leaves the potential for parents to “believe they have a hand in who plays and who coaches.” Beattie acknowledged he is uncomfortable about that setup, and he hinted that the board could recommend more funding for sports programs at what the board calls its annual vision meeting. At that meeting early next year, the board will outline priorities for the budgeting process, which begins in March. “We do rely on booster clubs, and I think that creates some political problems,” Beattie said. “I think if we were less reliant on (club) funding, it would be less of an issue.” Most of the roughly 40 people who attended the workshop were administrators, with athletic directors from all eight district schools represented. One parent claimed that a coach treated his son unfairly and said administrators dismissed the complaints. “Parents think we’re not following through and we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do,” trustee clerk James T. Lott said. “That’s a misconception.” email@example.com (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!