VIRGINIA – Why does a high school baseball coach make $1,000 less than a high school football coach who has a shorter season and half the number of games?North Woods baseball coach Jeff Smerud …
VIRGINIA – Why does a high school baseball coach make $1,000 less than a high school football coach who has a shorter season and half the number of games?
North Woods baseball coach Jeff Smerud posed that question Tuesday to the ISD 2142 School Board during open comments at the board’s regular meeting.
Armed with detailed examples compiled from the coaching pay scale in negotiated teachers agreement and seasonal sports calendars, Smerud asked the board to consider clear discrepancies between pay for fall and winter sports coaches and spring coaches.
“I guess this comes down to a pay dispute,” Smerud said.
Smerud chose football and volleyball to compare against baseball and softball. According to the negotiated agreement, head coaches for football and volleyball are paid $5,338, while their baseball and softball counterparts are paid $4,283, a difference of $1,055. Fall assistant coaches are paid $4,033, while spring assistants are paid $3,206, an $827 difference.
Zeroing in on football, Smerud noted that baseball and softball teams schedule up to twice as many games and therefore are on the road twice as much or more in seasons of similar length.
“Those games are scheduled Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday,” he said. “Then we have football, they play Friday nights.”
More post-game work for home contests is also standard for baseball and softball, he said.
“Field maintenance for spring coaches, we do our own fields,” Smerud said. “We drag after every practice; we rake the mound. Football, when the game’s over, you walk up and put away some cones and you don’t have any maintenance to do.”
Other coaches are also concerned about the pay discrepancy, Smerud said.
“When you’re looking at a difference of $1,055 per sports season when we’re doing the same amount of work as a football or volleyball coach it doesn’t seem to add up in my eyes and a bunch of other coaches I’ve talked to in the district,” he said. “A lot of these other coaches probably teach in the district and they don’t want to bring this up.”
While no action is taken on items presented during open session, board member Christina Taylor was responsive to taking up the issue in the future.
“It should be fair and it does seem odd,” Taylor said. “I’m definitely interested in exploring what the reasoning is and trying to get it changed.”
Board member Chet Larson said that changes would have to be taken up with the teachers union.
“You have to remember it’s under the contract,” he said. “It comes out of their pay.”