The DeKalb County Board of Education is being asked to address inequities in supplement pay particularly for the football, basketball, and cheer coaches at the high school.
Members of the DCHS Quarterback Club addressed the school board’s athletic oversight committee during a meeting Monday night concerned that the current supplement pay plan does not reward coaches for their value in contributing to the success of their sports programs and for the pride they help instill in the community.
Last month, the school board voted to move $5,000 within categories of the proposed 2016-17 budget to help rectify the inequities for these coaches, whose supplements rank below those in other counties in the district and across the state. While the board has not yet voted on how the extra money would be divided, under consideration is a proposal to give the high school head football and boys basketball coaches, Steve Trapp and Lynus Martin an additional $2,000 and for the high school football and basketball head cheer coaches to each get an extra $500. The new girls basketball coach at DCHS would not get a raise since he has just been hired.
But football boosters say while the board’s move is a step in the right direction, more should be done.
Under the current system, high school head coaches earn a $5,000 supplement per year. Assistant coaches get $2,785 or $2,400 for non-employee assistants. Cheer head coaches receive $835 per year.
Boosters say these sports demand practically a year round commitment from coaches and for the time and effort put in to prepare for each season, they should be compensated accordingly
For example, they point out that Coach Trapp has received the same supplement pay, $5,000 a year for the last twelve years, the same as his predecessor in 2004.
“Coaching is not merely showing up with your team on game day. It is an ongoing process of teaching self-discipline that includes development of life skills; not just athletic skills. Every coach has an opportunity to be a life coach. We are asking our school board members to show meaningful commitment towards recruiting and retaining quality coaches who commit and dedicate themselves to making a difference,” said Donny Green, speaking on behalf of the Boosters.
The Boosters have proposed a new pay plan for the School Board to consider which would require a total increase in budgetary funding of $16,620. This proposal only addresses proposed supplement pay increases for high school football, basketball, and cheer coaches and their assistants and would not affect the pay of coaches or assistants in other sports.
“When comparing supplemental coaching pay across our district, football, basketball, and cheer in DeKalb County rank near the very bottom. In contrast, cross country, golf, tennis, and soccer coach supplemental pays rank # 1 in the district. We need to value all of our coaches in a fair manner,” said Green.
Under the proposal, Boosters asked that the supplement for the high school head football and basketball coaches be increased from $5,000 to $8,000 per year each and that the pay for their assistant coaches (4 for football and 2 for basketball) each be increased from $2,785 ($2,400 for non-employee assistants) to $3,500 each. Supplement pay for the high school football and basketball cheer coaches would go from $835 to $2,500 but it would have to be divided among the head cheer coaches and their assistants.
“Our proposal is simply to accomplish fairness by recognizing and rewarding the value contributed to the success of our sports programs, the image of our school, and pride in our community,” Green said.
Board members acknowledged that the current pay plan for coaches is flawed but contend the problem can’t be fixed overnight. While not signaling whether they favored the Boosters’ plan, members of the School Board say they are committed to working toward a viable solution over the next few months while offering a $5,000 “band aid” approach in the meantime.