Despite what Facebook said, Coach Ables was never relieved of his job and subsequently rehired,” says CHS athletic director Golden Anderson. “Each coach is either offered a contract for the season, or they aren’t. Coach Ables was offered a contract for the 2012-13 school year.”
Every coach at CHS is given a one-year contract. Unlike teaching contracts, there is no tenure for coaching jobs.
Even though his job was not yet secured for the upcoming seasons, Ables remembers remaining positive, saying, “I’m a samurai warrior. Samurai warriors, if we live in the past, we are going to be angry. If we live in the future, we are going to be scared. So I live for today.”
It is not just the winning record of the team that decides if a coach is rehired.
“Mostly it is the experience of the kids,” Anderson says. “That is the number one thing.”
Lopez and Anderson agree on this matter.
“Athletics are supposed to enhance our student’s experience in high school,” Lopez says. “Everything goes into consideration of contract renewal.”
However, the school board is not involved in renewing the contracts of coaches.
“The renewal of coaching contracts is solely Anderson and my responsibilities,” Lopez says.
The CUSD school board is not in charge of renewing contracts, but they retain the authority to investigate complaints and evaluate the performance of employees.
Evaluating coaches is not a new topic for the board. In fact, a similar situation arose in June 2009 when Ables faced another evaluation period.
“Coach Ables has not always been on the best of terms with the administration,” says senior cross-country and track runner Justin DePalatis.
While some disagree with Ables’ unorthodox coaching policies, the majority of his athletes defend his rules.
“Attendance was mandatory,” says Jessica Fenton, who ran for both cross-country and track teams of 2006-2010. “His rules were reasonable and fair.”
However, some parents and athletes have found this fundamental rule to be unreasonable. This frustration has transitioned into public complaints.
“There are various parents who got upset about these rules,” says John Meyer, a CHS athlete’s father and close friend of Ables. “Some of them have come forward and said the rules are too rigid.”
However, public complaints have not altered Ables’ approach to coaching.
“Coach doesn’t make exceptions,” DePalatis says. “In order to treat everyone fairly, Coach often compromises the success of his team. Yet despite that, he has still been the most successful coach in Carmel’s history.”
Ables’ unique coaching technique has not only led to numerous victories for the track and cross-country programs, but he has also won over the respect and left a great impact on many of his runners.
“Coach is one of the greatest father figures that I have ever had,” states Tom Kochevar, a cross-country and track alumnus, on his Facebook post.
“As long as I am coaching kids, and they are smiling, I am the happiest man in the world,” Ables says. “It’s great to be loved.”