Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 23, 2014

Coaches quit in northeast Iowa because of bullying

Mar 11, 2014

INDEPENDENCE (AP) — Bullying from some players’ parents and other critics of the program have driven two girls basketball coaches away from their coaching jobs at district schools in the northeast Iowa city of Independence.

Assistant coach Rob Ratchford said Monday that he and head varsity coach Rod Conrad had endured too many menacing or irate phone calls.

Ratchford said he knows that criticism comes with coaching.

“You read things on social media and you try to ignore those kinds of things: People approaching you on game day and phone calls on game day, and phone calls after the game,” he told Cedar Rapids television station KCRG.

But Ratchford said he couldn’t ignore the suggestions of violence.

“There were threats made, you know, about wanting to fight and stuff like that,” Ratchford told Waterloo television station KWWL.

Ratchford and head varsity coach Conrad decided they’d had enough, so they announced their resignations on Friday. Ratchford said they agreed that resigning was the only clear way to send a message to overzealous parents.

Conrad has said he plans to coach somewhere again next season.

Ratchford said he’s happy with how the district has handled the situation. District officials have declined to comment.

Ratchford and Conrad didn’t immediately return messages from The Associated Press on Tuesday.

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