Hearing for Graham wrestling grievance set for April


By Nick Walton - nwalton@aimmediamidwest.com



ST. PARIS – An arbitration hearing for one of the candidates who applied for the vacant Graham High School wrestling head coaching position last fall will take place in April.

A hearing in the arbitration case of Richard Randall will take place on April 17, according to information provided by Graham Local Schools to the Daily Citizen on Wednesday. No location has been set for the hearing.

Graham Local Schools announced the hiring of Travis McIntosh as the wrestling head coach on Oct. 29, 2018. McIntosh, Randall and Mike Vlahos were the three candidates who interviewed for the position.

The initial grievance form, filed on Oct. 15, 2018, states Randall received a letter from Graham Athletic Director Jay Lewis on Oct. 3, 2018, notifying him that he would not be offered the high school varsity wrestling head coach position.

“Based on the search committee’s recommendations and concerns I have chosen at this time to not consider you the most qualified for the head wrestling position,” Lewis states in the Oct. 3, 2018, letter. “The areas of concern for the committee were your lack of head coaching experience at any level, vision and no defined goals of the program.”

A review of the three candidates’ resumes shows Randall noted some head coaching experience at the junior high level while at Graham (1990-2003) and only Vlahos had head-coaching experience at the high school level.

The grievance form contends Randall was denied the position for arbitrary, capricious and/or political reasons and seeks relief in the listed head coach salary amount of $4,484.

In response to the grievance, a hearing was held on Oct. 22, 2018, but a written form about the hearing states Graham High School Principal Ryan Rismiller and Lewis would not act on behalf of the search committee on the matter.

The decision was then appealed to Graham Superintendent Kirk Koennecke.

In an Oct. 31, 2018, letter, Koennecke argues Randall has not provided evidence to support the claims that he was denied the head coach position based on arbitrary, capricious and political reasons.

“In reviewing the letter Mr. Lewis shared with Mr. Randall, it was noted that ‘the areas of concern for the committee were your lack of head high school coaching experience, vision unclear for student athletes in the program and no clearly defined, measurable goals for the program at this time,’” Koennecke states.

“I see no arbitrary, capricious, or political reasons listed or rationale regarding three areas of viable concern defined, not just by one member of the administration, but of a panel of participants who convened to evaluate prospective candidates. Therefore, I reject said grievance and will not take action.”

The grievance was then referred to arbitration on Nov. 6, 2018.

By Nick Walton

nwalton@aimmediamidwest.com

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777.