Sparks Fly At Board Meeting Over Wrestling Coach’s Job

OSWEGO, NY – Nearly a dozen speakers took the school board to the mat Tuesday night in support of a coach.

After the public session, the situation escalated into a shouting match between some members of the audience and some board members.

School board president Dave White, back to camera, and Dave Blauvelt argue over how the board is handling a personnel matter involving a coach.
School board president Dave White, back to camera, and Dave Blauvelt argue over how the board is handling a personnel matter involving a coach.

The district’s wrestling coach, Bill Jones, reportedly didn’t get a favorable performance review and wasn’t asked to return for the next season.

The speakers, a mixture of parents and current and former wrestlers, told of how the coach takes an interest in each student and does everything he can to help them succeed on the mat and in the classroom.

“He would give those kids all he had. He always went above and beyond for these kids every year,” said Patti Blauvelt. “He would help any kid with his homework, even if it was on the phone. He raised money so kids who wanted to go to summer camp could go. He took his own money and time to do whatever he could for the good of the team.”

“You couldn’t ask for a better coach,” added her son, Ryan, who won the Section III championship in wrestling last year and came in fourth in the state championships.

“I don’t know the reason why (the district didn’t reinstate him),” an emotional Mark Roy told the board, fighting back tears. “But there are more reasons to keep him then not. He’s a great guy.”

After the last speaker, the board continued with the next agenda item.

Several audience members protested challenging the board to respond to the coaching issue.

When board member John Dunsmoor began to explain the board was discussing the coach in executive session, board president Dave White intervened; that infuriated the audience even more.

“That’s a personnel issue, for executive session. We’re not going to discus someone’s job in public. It’s not fair to do that,” he said.

“You don’t give anybody a reason for nothing!” shouted David Blauvelt as White walked off the stage and into the audience followed by Dunsmoor. “It’s about time you all said something, that’s what we’re here for!

White chastised him for his disruptive behavior and told him if he had to “call the cops and have you thrown out, I’d be happy to do it.”

The two continued to converse several minutes. Nearby, Dunsmoor talked with more of the coach’s supporters.

After about 10 minutes, the board members returned to their seats and continued the meeting.

The coach’s supporters left.

White didn’t adequately answer his questions, he said.

“You don’t get anywhere with ignorance. I just think this whole board is all wrong,” he said. “They don’t want to give nobody answers; they just want to do what they want to do. He’ll get back to us after they have their little session, that’s it, that’s all he said.”

Asked following the meeting whether the district currently has a wrestling coach, White replied, “Apparently not.”

Dunsmoor noted the coach wasn’t reappointed “because we weren’t happy with his (evaluation).”

At the conclusion of the regular meeting, the board returned to executive session. It is believed the coaching position was the sole item to be discussed.

“People get excited about this sort of stuff,” White said on his way into the second executive session. “We don’t discuss a person’s evaluation or job in public.”


  1. I’m confused. Dean Goewey based much of his defense on the fact that he received a bad evaluation from the new superintendent after five years of good evaluations from previous superintendents. This board agreed to throw out that bad evaluation as part of his settlement. Now this wrestling coach gets a bad evaluation from a new athletic director after fifteen years of good evaluations and the board’s response is to fire the coach. This seems a little inconsistent to me. Could it be that this coach doesn’t have the personal ties with the board that are necessary to get and keep a job in this district? It will be interesting to see how this board handles hiring and firing this year. Employees beware. It isn’t what you know, it is who you know.

  2. Coach Jones has given above and beyond! Why don’t you look at this PAST evaluations? Compare them to his current and then sit the man down and ask WHY? This man has shown Oswgo he loves these kids ! Unless he has “loved” these kids wrongly— then he deserves to be returned to his position! I want to know whose relative wants this position! ISnt that what this is really about?Whose relative not qualified wants this position has decided they want to be a coach? This is not what the voters wanted! Dave Whitehas taken his reigns like before and has “ALL THE POWER” he wants– you wait and see! He campaigned for the people ==watch how much he changes for teh “DAVID” this is how he was during his reign as President of his CSEA union unit ! He was soooooooooo “Godly” he never went to any local meetings representing his members! His word was “God” ! Don.t believe me? I know been there saw that in person!

  3. The Oswego City School District’s two main policies have always been 1) to hide everything from the public and 2) to raise taxes and keep taking from the pockets of the taxpayers. Given policy #1, I don’t think that the parents should expect answers any time soon. They operate in complete secrecy, don’t tell us what we are paying for, but they are always happy to send out sky high tax bills. The only board member in the history of the school district who didn’t comply with these policies was Fran Hoefer and that is why the school board voted him out after the taxpayers overwhelmingly elected him to 2 terms.

  4. It has always been that way-Not WHATyou know -WHO you know- Oswego Politics for ya!
    But it was my understanding that he was given a recommendation by Scott Sugar and by Bill Christ but the board did not approve it. Now not sure what is true and what is not anymore.

  5. Dave White needs to control himself. Good grief, how old is he?
    Sounds like another Oswego school lynching party to me. This school district is the reason alot of people move out of the Port City. I don’ think it will ever change. Depends on who you are and what your status in the community is with this district. Sports is a perfect example, even if your horrible but your daddy or mommy are influential you play and the better players sit and watch. unbelievable. Maybe all the coaches should be fired along with the school board members and we can start anew.

  6. the district should look at all the other coaches.When was the last time the football team had a winning season. that must have been back in the 70’s.The way some of our teams are, I would not support any of the teams until they start to win and get into the playoffs.

  7. There have been no evaluations for coaches in Oswego. I believe Dave White just committed slander! Trying to ruin Jones’ career as a coach. I suggest White issue a formal apology or his ass prime for suing!

  8. This is getting interesting. The minutes of the July 15th BOE meeting include athletic coaching positions. Mr. Jones is on the list. This means that Mr. Jones had to be recommended by our new Director of Athletics, Scott Sugar, as well as Acting Superintendent Bill Crist. All of these appointments were withdrawn from the agenda. Why? My guess is that someone on the board didn’t want to vote on them. Mr. White is so determined to get a 7-0 vote that he will pull anything that a single board member wants pulled, regardless of how the rest of the board feels. Now these appointments come back to the board for approval, minus Mr. Jones in the position of wrestling coach. When Mr. White is asked why Mr. Jones is not being recommended, he makes noises about a bad evaluation. The truth is, Mr. Jones has never actually received an evaluation in his 16 years of service to the district. So who gave the bad evaluation, Mr. White? It wasn’t Scott Sugar since he recommended Mr. Jones in the first place. It wasn’t Mr. Crist, either. So who gave the bad evaluation? Could it have been a board member? Could it have been someone involved with Buc Boosters? All this time I thought Dave White was power hungry and he turns around and gives all the power to a parent group. My apologies, Mr. White. Guess I misjudged you.

  9. Someone should FOIL the so-called evaluation. As an employee, Jones should be privy to his own employee folder. Maybe he should call Goewey (sp?) on this.

  10. The one thing about the sport of wrestling is that a postion is earned through what is called a wrestle off. It does not matter who the parent is. The best wrestler is put on the mat at all times, if they win the wrestle off then they are the varsity athlete put on the mat for that weight class. Also, the evaluation the board is talking about is the one made by the board themselves. Scott Sugar put Coach Jones in for appointment and “the board” removed his name in executive session. I think the board should take appointments form the person in charge of athletics or any other part of the administration. If not, you are going just comtinue a revloving door policy with the administration in thsi district and we will never have a good administration. Let the administration do the job they are hired to do. The school needs to start getting good publicity or we are just going to keep being the joke of the County.

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