A six-year basketball coach with a winning record has lost his job, though he's still rooting for his team.
Dana Shaughnessy said the loss of his boys varsity basketball coaching position at the school board’s mid-September meeting was a real surprise.
“Everything happened so quick,” he said.
The position was awarded to Lee Silvernail, a part-time physical education teacher who was coaching the girls team.
The girls basketball team no longer has a coach, and according to a help wanted advertisement in the Oct. 1 Times of Ti, all levels of girls basketball and junior varsity boys basketball need coaches for the season, which launches Nov. 1.
Calls to Silvernail, School Board President John Armstrong and School Superintendent Bonnie Finnerty seeking comment were not returned before deadline.
Shaughnessy said he started hearing that he'd be replaced a couple weeks before the school board meeting where the decision was made final.
He said he wasn't given much reason for the decision. “It was a yes-no vote,” at the board, he said. He's also chosen to step down as modified girls soccer and varsity girls softball coach. Shaughnessy’s wife, Mary Lou, is also a coach and serves as the district’s athletic director.
According to Dana Shaughnessy, he had a record with the basketball team of 85 wins and 29 or 30 losses. He’s coached two MVAC championship teams and one section VII championship team. His teams have made five trips to the final four.
This year, the team has a bye in the regionals and have a good shot at taking Section VII, said Shaughnessy.
He’s especially proud of the three league banners his squads have earned for sportsmanship.
“It might not have been that important to the students,” he joked.
You can't be a championship team without respect for your teammates, opponents and everyone else involved in the games, he said.
Shaughnessy said he was very excited this season to coach a team that he's sure will go far. “It's a possibly history-making team,” he said.
Shauhnessy said he’s coached the members of the current varsity team for years — he can remember some of them from summer and intermural games he helped coach.
“I'm disappointed, but what are you going to do? You've got to stay positive,” he said.
Though state law dictates that a coaching position must go to a state-certified teacher before it's offered to non teachers, Shaughnessy holds a professional coaching license. This should place him on equal footing with a certified teacher, according to the “School Law Handbook” from the NYS Bar Association and NYS School Boards Association.
Shaughnessy said he still hopes that he'll get a chance to resume his position.