XC coach resigns


Cross country coach Carl Klein resigned from the team after a meeting with activities director Karl Kerns because he believes the team has not received their fair share of money during his tenure as coach. Assistant coach Jordan will be the interim coach until another one is hired.

“I have been pushing for fairness and equality for not just our team, but all those teams that may not be the ‘bigger sports,’” Klein said. “I have asked to have some support percentage of our fundraising money go to the team plus other concerns and have failed at it. Coach Jordan and I had a meeting with Mr. Kerns and it did not go well.”

Klein’s bold, daring action to resign was him taking a stand against the insufficient funds cross country has been given.

“We do fundraisers for the school every fall, every sport has to sell gold cards or red cards. We did that fundraiser for the athletics department, we raised a little over $5,000, and we saw none of that money,” Klein said.

Kerns declined to discuss about the controversy about the lack of support for the cross country team with The A-Blast.

The decision was a very difficult one for Klein, as he has to leave the job he loved dearly because of his frustrations with Kerns and the inadequate amount of support the team has gotten.

“The reason I work at Annandale is because I want to coach full-time. I had an amazing job outside of this where I was making a lot of money. I wanted to come and coach full-time, that’s why I work at Annandale,” Klein said. “I just didn’t feel like the cross country team and the track team were getting the full support from the school that they needed. I really fought a hard fight, and I didn’t want to leave, but I felt like it was the only thing left on the table, in hopes that the kids and parents would step up and try to fight.”

The runners in cross country were so passionate about the conflict that they scheduled meetings with Kerns and Principal Tim Thomas.

“The boys did an amazing [job], I can’t believe what they’ve done. They actually set up their own meeting with Mr. Kerns, they’re all dressed up in ties,” Klein said.” They [already] had a meeting with him, and they’re setting up a meeting with Mr. Thomas. Now that I resigned, I’m away from the team, but they’re still fighting the fight, and I’m pretty sure there parents are fighting the fight too.”

The team was visited by Kerns before a practice last week and he agreed to a meeting with two members of the team about the situation.  

Senior Risky Alvarado and junior Beckman Hollis were chosen among their teammates to represent their team during the meeting between them, Kerns and Thomas.

“First they were receptive, they listened to what we had to say. They answered all our questions, not necessarily what we wanted to hear, but they did answer them. They appeared willing to work with us and meet us halfway with most of our issues,” Hollis said. “I’m happy with the way Mr. Thomas handled it. This issue isn’t completely resolved yet, there’s still work to do. A lot of that is beyond just the team, it’s with the athletic boosters and the coaches and the administrators.”

As of right now, there is no immediate solution to solve the problem of the shortage of money for the cross country team. Currently the students have to pay for their own uniforms while the other sport teams loan jerseys to their players and they receive new uniforms every four to five years. Yet Klein still has hope that the issue will be resolved sooner than later.

“I have hope, honestly I do. If it [doesn’t] get resolved and everything stays the same, then it’s not right,” Klein said.