Role of Director of Forensics
Over a period of years (thirty or more, probably), a number of coaches have left forensics. Some have retired from education. Some have retired from coaching. Some have left coaching to pursue other academic interests. Some of those individuals have returned to positions that are solely teaching positions. Others have moved into administrative positions, at a departmental level, or at a college or university level. Invariably, those individuals have left "holes" to be filled. Filling the positions is not necessarily a concern or a problem.
Positions can and have been filled by competent coaches and educators. The "natural" attrition provides new/young coaches some opportunities to take their place in the profession. We understand that new coaches will develop and establish new/different ways of doing things, and that can be a healthy experience. We welcome the new coaches and wish them well in their new positions.
Some positions, unfortunately, are not filled, for a variety of reasons. Some departments may wish to be rid of a forensics program that is seen as a drain on department resources. We have learned from experience that leaving those positions unfilled frequently means that a forensics program will be terminated, or allowed to disappear. Whether the department chooses to not fill the position, or whether there are not suitable applicants for the position, the result tends to be the same. The program will be allowed to disappear.
Coaches who are leaving a coaching position may know that the position likely will not be filled. Some certainly know that, others may speculate, still others may believe that the position will be filled. In any case, those coaches leave the coaching position, regardless of the outcome for the forensics program. Up to that point, those coaches have been perceived as dedicated, enthusiastic, concerned for the health of the forensics program and the educational opportunities for their students. The question, then, is why do those coaches leave the activity? Knowing that there is a very real possibility that the position will not be filled and that the program may be terminated, why do those coaches turn their backs and walk away from students and programs to which they have been so dedicated?
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"Retention, Retention, Retention: Keeping our Colleagues in the Trenches,"
Proceedings of the National Developmental Conference on Individual Events: Vol. 4:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/ndcieproceedings/vol4/iss1/5