Oregon basketball coach resigns mid-season

Oregon High School

OREGON — Oregon High School’s head basketball coach resigned last week following accusations from a parent who said his son quit the team in December because of “degrading comments” and a “toxic” environment.

Nathan Green, a second-year coach who is employed outside the district, resigned immediately, said OHS Athletic Director Mike Lawton.

In an email to parents, Lawton said assistant JV coach, Jarrett Reynolds, who is a teacher within the Oregon School District, will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season.

“While we know a leadership change can be challenging, we are confident that Coach Reynolds and the rest of the coaching staff will do everything in their power to ensure our student athletes have the best end of their season possible,” the email said.

Green’s resignation followed comments by a parent during the December and January board meetings.

“I am here to reiterate my family’s concerns with the current state of the OCUSD Athletic Department,” said Seth Gelander of Oregon at the Jan. 18 meeting. “Last month we shared our experience with the OHS basketball program and made the board aware of physical and emotional abuse that our son endured during his time with the program. We again were disappointed that the outcome of the initial investigation by the athletic director regarding this complaint was determined to be unfounded.”

Gelander asked the school board to take action for the “safety of students in all settings”.

In December, Gelander told the board that his son, Joey a senior, had recently quit the basketball program because of degrading comments made by the head coach about the team’s performance.

“Once he [Joey] explained all of the issues to us, it became clear that he needed to remove himself from that toxic relationship,” Gelander said in December claiming that head coach, , used profanity on multiple occasions and told players they were “soft” and “didn’t care about losing”.

Gelander said when he and his wife met with Green following an incident during summer league, Green did not report the incident to the athletic director as required by school policy, Gelander said.

He said his son decided to “give up the sport he loves” in order to maintain a “healthy mental status and move forward free of abuse”.

He told the board that “this type of behavior” would not be tolerated in a classroom from a teacher and should not be tolerated from a coach.

“Since the time of the last board meeting multiple events have occurred that have made the situation more worrisome,” Gelander said on Jan. 18 citing cyberbullying on social media in retaliation against a former player. “It is clear to an objective eye, that the complaint process and procedure is well constructed to protect the coach, the athletic department, and the school. There is only one problem, where does that leave the student athlete in this process?”

Board members typically do not respond to comments made during the public comment period of school board meetings.

After the December meeting, Oregon Superintendent Tom Mahoney declined to comment on Gelander’s statements or accusations and none of the coaches or Lawton were present at the meeting.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 9 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.