Fed up with parents, Stillwater hockey coach quits

The girl’s hockey coach at Stillwater High School has resigned for mysterious reasons but as is usually the case, particularly with schools, the privacy cone of silence has dropped over the situation.

Tony Scheid, who complied a 260-112-21 record, which included three conference championships, three sections titles and state championships in 2007 and 2009, said in a statement today that the fun of coaching has been eclipsed by “public relations,” according to the Stillwater Gazette.

“When I first got here, it was all about teaching the kids the sport and putting them into a position to enjoy hockey, play it well and have fun. If you do those things, winning almost always follows. Now though, much of the job of coaching is increasingly taken up with public relations. Given the strong feelings that can be involved whenever decisions are made about students, it is essential that a coach has the confidence of his school district administration watching his back to be able to move forward with a program. I now know that I no longer have that support from the new administration at Stillwater. While I regret this, I understand that it does mean that it is time to focus my passions and efforts in hockey in other directions and to allow the program I have worked so hard to develop well to look to others for leadership.”

The Star Tribune got ahold of a much more forceful statement from Scheid, however: the email he sent to the school superintendent, Denise Powell:

“Recently, I have seen my family being subjected to an unrelenting and vicious personal series of verbal attacks from a group of parents of intensity unlike any I could have imagined, much less seen before. Much of the joy of coaching in this program has been taken away by the need to defend my own family from these vicious attacks, which would seem to be channeled to and through your office. In the past, I might have shrugged much of this off, confident that I could move forward with the program and an administration that “had my back”. I simply will not put my family through any more of this.”

A district spokeswoman declined to comment Friday, citing data privacy with personnel matters, the Strib said.

Scheid, an Austin native, has coached high school hockey for 28 years after playing the sport professionally in Germany.