James Island town councilman Leonard Blank says his phone has been ringing off the hook as residents express their concern about the fate of baseball coach Tom Hatley and boys basketball coach Stan Wilkins at James Island Charter High School.
IF YOU WANT TO GO
WHAT: James Island Charter High School board of directors meeting
WHEN: 5 p.m. Monday
WHERE: School cafeteria, 1000 Fort Johnson Road
The concern also has spread to Facebook, where pages in support of the two coaches had a combined total of more than 1,500 likes as of Friday. Many also have posted their support for Hatley and Wilkins on the "James Island Charter High School Communication" page.
"My phone started ringing Tuesday night," said Blank. "People are up in arms about this."
Rumors about Hatley's fate have intensified since the veteran coach was removed as James Island's athletic director in April, with Lisa Enfinger named as the school's interim AD last month. The charter school's board of directors has a meeting set for Monday at the school.
Keith Bolus, chairman of the board of directors, told The Post and Courier on Thursday that a discussion of coaches is not on the agenda for Monday's meeting. James Island principal Richard Gordon, who had the "interim" tag removed from his title this week, did not return a message seeking comment.
Hatley, who has won two state titles, nine region championships and almost 500 games in 26 years at James Island, declined comment.
"Coach Hatley is an icon on James Island," said Blank, who said his grandson played for Hatley this season. "My grandson was accepted into Academic Magnet High School, but he stayed at James Island just to play for coach Hatley.
"People are asking me if there's anything I can do about it, but the school is run by the parents. I brought some elected officials to the board's last meeting to show support for coach Hatley."
James Island's board of directors has run into controversy before. When new football coach Ike Allred was hired in February, The Post and Courier reported that Allred was not the top candidate recommended to the board by the school's leadership committee.
"In my opinion, and not necessarily that of others, (Allred) was a better fit for what the school needs," Bolus said at the time.
Late last year, the board placed former principal Bob Bohnstengel on paid administrative leave and chose Gordon, then an assistant principal, to run the school. Bohnstengel then sued the school, seeking a ruling that would allow him to continue as principal. At the time of the lawsuit, Nancy Bloodgood, Bohnstengel's attorney, said the situation started with a disagreement about who would choose the school's next football coach.