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Boley resigns position as Caroline’s coach



Related: Besieged Caroline coach answers critics

One week after seven parents requested his dismissal at a School Board meeting, Caroline football coach Gene Boley resigned yesterday.

Principal Harper Donahoe wrote in an email to The Free Lance–Star yesterday that Boley’s resignation is effective immediately.

Donahoe said first-year athletic director Jeremy Jack will serve as the interim coach. Donahoe said Jack will conduct offseason workouts with players, including weightlifting sessions.

Jack said he will apply for the full-time job. He was the head coach at Colonial Beach from 2002–10. He guided the Drifters to the Group A, Division 1 semifinals in 2007, and a second berth in the regional title game the following season.

Jack served as an assistant coach at Caroline this season.

“The opportunity to coach at a Double-A school is certainly of interest to me,” Jack said. “It’s something my wife and I will have to weigh the options on.”

Donahoe said that as a former Marine, Boley did not want to be a divisive figure at Caroline, where he’ll remain a teacher at least through this school year.

Donahoe said despite the signatures of 26 parents on a petition to remove Boley, he is respected by many.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication Coach Boley has provided the school,” Donahoe said. “I have heard from numerous parents expressing their support and thanks for Coach Boley.”

The Cavaliers finished 2–8 in both seasons under Boley, who didn’t return calls seeking comment.

But parents at last Monday’s School Board meeting said the losing record isn’t why they wanted him gone. They said Boley swore at their children, discouraged them from playing other sports and sent repeated text messages threatening to take away playing time if they didn’t meet certain demands. One parent of a player who has transferred told The Free Lance–Star that Boley followed his son’s activity bus home and berated him for missing a weightlifting session.

The parent said Boley frightened the boy and his sister, who was walking with him.

Several parents said if Boley remained the coach, they were prepared to transfer their sons to a different school.

Boley, who disputes many of the claims, said he lives in the same neighborhood as the player and spotted him walking through the woods on a drive home from work.

Jack said parents, coaches and administrators all have to understand their roles for a football program to thrive.

“I think over the past several years that’s something that was lost here—what role coaches, administrators and parents have to play,” Jack said. “Sometimes it means you may have to swallow your pride and adapt. If you’re wrong, you have to be able to admit it. I think in this situation there were missteps on both sides.”

Donahoe said the search for a new coach will begin in February. Jack said one year as an assistant showed him he desires the final say when a game is on the line.

“I definitely think I can do a good job with these kids and begin to turn things around,” Jack said. “If not, I’m happy here as the AD. Whatever decision the administration makes, I’m 100 percent behind it.”

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526