No Shirt No Service: High School Coach Jobless After His Boys Track Team Goes Topless
Sunday, May 8 2011 2:59 PM
Written by: Eric Adelson
We've all wanted to tell a jogger to put his shirt back on, but what happened recently in suburban Boston is a little different.
Westwood High track coach Tom Davis was fired last week because one of his runners decided to whip off a shirt during training on a 75-degree day.
This wasn't a girl, by the way. It was a boy.
And the Westwood High athletic director, Karl Fogel, was so irate about it that Davis thought he was going to lay him out.
"I fully 100 percent was expecting to be swung at," the coach told NECN TV.
That wasn't the end of it. Davis was let go on the spot, in front of his team, and eventually escorted off school property.
"The kids on my team, it was terrible," Davis told the TV station. "Their faces, just pure disgust, pure fear."
The team was doing quite well this year under the second-year coach: one of the relay teams went to nationals less than two months ago and the outdoor
team started off 5-0 this spring. But there was an undercurrent of tension at the school as Fogel told Davis that some members of the girls team felt
uncomfortable when the boys ran without shirts. Davis even warned his team about possible punishment for not wearing a shirt.
Then, a week ago Friday, the situation boiled over, with Fogel going chest to chest with the coach, according to the Boston Globe.
"I can assure you that [the] decision to relieve Mr. Davis of his duties was not the result of a single incident," said Westwood schools
superintendant John Antonucci in a statement, "but rather the regrettable outcome of an ongoing discussion."
Now that ongoing discussion has ricocheted all over the community. Davis said he was never given an official reason for his firing, and he is seeking
The Westwood team lost its first meet without Davis on Monday. He was replaced by the school's throwing coach.
"What? No more cake and ice cream left? To hell with this, I'm outa here!"