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As I read about the kerfuffle concerning the hiring of Greenbrier East High School’s boys basketball coach, I can’t help but wonder if Gov. Jim Justice, as he attests, is the most-qualified coach. Does he understand that coaching bona fides are more than the sum of a win-loss record?

Coaches also help players understand the game, learn the nuances of strategy and to exhibit good sportsmanship. This is especially critical with high school students, who are still developing as people.

In the heat of the game, players can get caught up in emotion and can disagree with calls made by the referee. If those disagreements get out of hand, the ref assesses a technical foul. This sends a message to the player, teammates and coach to stand down and refocus. Additionally, players learn that the referee’s calls stand.

Justice seems to have forgotten this basic element of the game. You might not always agree with the calls, but you live with them and move on.

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The Greenbrier County Board of Education has made such a call. They do not want Justice as the boys’ coach. Perhaps they have a different perspective as they look at qualified candidates.

I would be looking for someone who embodies good sportsmanship, is with the players during practices, as well as games (Justice has said he will only coach games), and has a loyalty to the team he is coaching. I suspect the governor wouldn’t tolerate a player whose loyalties were divided.

As a resident of West Virginia, I am interested in a governor whose loyalty is to the state he has been elected to represent. I might not always agree with him, but I understand he is our governor. But, at present, I feel that Justice has earned a technical foul and needs to settle down and refocus on his primary responsibility, the state of West Virginia.

Kate FitzGerald


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