Palisade High School released football head coach John Arledge from his contract on Thursday. This may have come as a shock to some, as Arledge took the Bulldogs to the playoffs in each of his eight years as head coach and had a record of 69-22 in that tenure, one doesn’t expect a head coach to be let go when they have that type of success. So why let a guy go that is getting the job done on the field? John Arledge is a VERY passionate and old school coach, which doesn’t sit well with some parents.
I have been around high school sports most of my life, the last 20 years in the booth calling games and in today’s world old school coaches like Arledge have a tough time with parents. Arledge is a hard coach and expects the best from his players. That means he works them hard in practice and in games. Look at last year’s Moffat County game. The Bulldogs had a lead and where driving when a Moffat County player got a personal foul. That was a 15 yard penalty that put the Bulldogs in the red zone. On the next play a Palisade player got a personal foul that gave the 15 yards back. Coach Arledge was not happy and walked on to the field, grabbed the young man by the face mask and pulled him off the field. Was that right thing to do? Probably not, but that was a selfish move by the Bulldog player. These two young men had been going at each other most of the game and when the penalty happened it cost Palisade a chance to score. Now, the Bulldogs did win the game, but what if that had cost them the game?
I was playing in a hockey game in which I had been going at with a winger from the other team. In the third period I slashed him hard enough to break both of our sticks and got put in the box. On the ensuing power play they scored the game winner goal. Did I pay for that in practice? You bet I did, it was selfish of me to lash out and cost my team the game. It’s not about that game but the life lesson that moment taught me. If you put yourself before the team you will always lose, the only way to win is as a team.
Does John Arledge’s passion make him a bad coach? Hell no. He is a damn good coach just look at his record. At the college or pro levels no one would say anything about his style, but at the high school level parents have a little more say about how their kids are treated.
I’ve had tough coaches and I would say most people would not like the way they treated their athletes but in the real world I don’t think your parents will be there when you make a bone head move and your boss chews your butt about it. Coach Arledge I wish you the best and thanks for always taking time for our broadcast.