HEAD COACHES FIRED
Cubs basketball coaches Crick, Harl fired
Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:00 AM
For the second time in three years Madison High School has parted ways with both of its varsity basketball coaches after the school board voted 5-0 to terminate the contracts of both boys coach Ryan Crick and girls coach Tony Harl Wednesday night.
Boys coach Ryan Crick was 13-29 in two seasons.
The two coaches were brought in two years ago after a similar purge by school officials. In that case, boys coach Jim Mathews and girls coach Rich Bagienski were told that their contracts were not going to be renewed.
Crick went 13-29 in two seasons including a 5-16 mark this past year. Harl was 23-21 overall but the Lady Cubs were 14-10 this past year and won the program's second sectional title in the past 10 years.
While Crick was not at the meeting and was unavailable for comment, Harl was on hand to see his girls basketball team honored by the school board for winning the sectional championship. Less than 10 minutes later, he sat impassively as the board calmly, and without comment, terminated his contract.
"It's not a surprise. I was notified by our principal back in December that I was going to be fired," said Harl, who will retain his position as Dean of Students at the high school until the end of the school year. "None of it was a surprise."
Madison principal Kevin Yancey was at the meeting but declined comment on the firings. Yancey did say that "we wish the best of luck to both coaches."
Harl declined to say what he was told in the December meeting, but he did mention that both Yancey and athletic director Ken Brunner were complimentary of him in their final meeting two weeks ago.
"The last time we met I was told that I was a good role model and a good person. I asked the question then of why I was being fired," Harl said. "I was told that the reason was that we had not won enough games over the past two years."
Madison went 9-11 in Harl's first season and started this season 5-2 before losing six of eight in December and early January. But the Cubs, who had only one senior on the roster, closed the season on a tear, winning six-straight games and eight of their last 10 before losing to Indianapolis Roncalli in the first game of the regional.
The 14 wins represent the most by a Madison team since the 1998-99 squad won a school-record 19 games. And the Lady Cubs did so against the 82nd toughest schedule in the state according to the Sagarin Ratings.
"I had a winning record in two years, we had 14 wins this year which I believe equaled the most wins they have had for at least the last 10 years," Harl said. "No team we lost to finished with a worse record than 13-6, the teams we lost to had a winning percentage of about .750 and that includes four teams that won sectional championships and two that played in the state championship. I don't know what the magic number would have been, how many more games we would have had to have won."
While Harl will be moving on, he looked back on the season just completed with fondness.
"What I was happiest about was the way we really came together as a team," Harl said. "We had a pretty rough stretch in December and it would have been easy for the girls to pack it in but they didn't do that and I think we really became a pretty good team at the end."
The Madison boys went 8-13 in Crick's first season before slipping to 5-16 this season - including an 0-7 run through the Hoosier Hills Conference. The Cubs suffered a seven-game losing streak early in the season and got off to the program's worst start in 30 years before going 3-5 down the stretch.
Both openings are expected to be officially posted today.