BRAINERD, Minn. - Before Scott Stanfield took over the head boys basketball coaching job at Brainerd High School seven years ago, he was a police officer for three decades.
To understand how difficult it is to be a high school coach in 2018, here is how he compares the jobs.
“The basketball emotional stress was way worse than being a cop, I feel defenseless as a coach,” Coach Stanfield said Thursday.
He means, defenseless to some parents of his players that make coaching a losing game, no matter the score. And that is why at the end of this season, Coach Stanfield and his staff are quitting the team.
The pressure from parents about playing time got to be too much.
This week, days after announcing it, Stanfield says he has heard from hundreds of coaches from all over the state and country saying, they understand.
“That is the number one reason without question that coaches are leaving,” Stanfield said.
Stanfield said he was confronted not just once and not just this year at practice, after practice and after games. He says those confrontations were heated over the years and that he just can’t deal with it anymore. It got to be mentally exhausting and it was affecting his ability to coach.
When Stanfield made his decision to resign, he got something not all coaches get -- the support of the Athletic Director, Charlie Campbell, when he told him why he was leaving. While Campbell is sad to see Coach Stanfield go, he wants this to be a watershed moment to start confronting this hard truth that some parents have lost sight of what high school sports are to 97-percent of the kids that play them.
“Our programs are not about developing a player for a scholarship, they are not about padding stats and stroking the ego of a kid or their families. We are about trying to teach a kid regardless of playing time, regardless of what it says on the scoreboard,” Campbell said.