Firing of losing football coach moves to Iowa Supreme Court

Nobody will ever confuse a high school football coach with one at the Division I level in college. While winning is important in high school, it isn't the only part of the equation when a coach is hired for a new job. The same can't be said for college football coaches, who get obscene amounts of money to recruit and win at all costs, or run the risk of getting fired.

That's why the story involving former Jesup (Iowa) High School football coach, Bruce Wall, is so perplexing. Wall, who was the head football coach at Jesup until April 2009, was apparently fired for his losing record on the field, and not for any wrongdoing in the classroom or to his team.

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As the WCF Courier noted in a recent article, the two sides have been going at it for more than two years, with both receiving different rulings from Buchanan County District Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals. After the latest ruling that reinstated Wall as the head football coach, the school district decided to appeal the ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court.

"School boards should not be prohibited from using the number of team victories, or total lack thereof, as one means to gauge the effectiveness of a coach's leadership," Justice Mary Tabor wrote in dissent of the ruling in favor of Wall.

The big question that still hasn't been answered is if a high school football coach can be fired based solely on his win-loss record. That ruling will be made in the near future, as both sides wait to see if the Iowa Supreme Court will review the case in what would be a landmark decision for terminating high school coaches.

The WCF Courier's report states the school fired Wall because he wasn't "effectively leading the football program, which included not keeping students interested and maintaining team discipline." Wall claims that wasn't the case, and that he was trying to turn things around after posting a 2-24 record as head coach over the past four seasons.


Even though Wall would like his job back as football coach, he said he's trying not to let it distract his job as a middle school teacher and baseball coach at Jesup.

"I am trying not to let that get in the way of what I'm trying to do," Wall told KCRG-9 News. "Whether I end up being the football coach in the future or not, I want Jesup football to have success."

If the Iowa Supreme Court decides not to review the case, Wall's reinstatement would stand, and he'd be back on the sidelines next season with compensation for the two seasons he's missed.

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