Proviso schools remove all coaches

Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School have removed coaches at all levels for the 2011-2012 school year.

The personnel change is being done in conjunction with the district’s school improvement plan, according to district spokesperson TaQuoya Kennedy. The positions are expected to be filled prior to the upcoming school year, and current coaches will be allowed to re-apply for their positions.

“What’s happened is our district is undergoing a major transition that include school improvement and overall reconstruction,” Kennedy said Thursday. “It’s not a budget issue. It’s a school improvement issue. This is all about school improvement.

“Some of our athletic heads have done a fantastic job. Some of them will remain the same. At the end of the day, this is about our students and making sure they have the best of the best.”

Proviso East varsity boys basketball coach David Chatman was caught off guard by the announcement.

“I don’t know what direction they’re going in,” Chatman said. “All we got is a notice that every head coach, East and West, is going to have to apply for their job again. That’s all I know. Everybody is in limbo right now. It’s something to wait and see what happens.”

The Proviso East boys basketball coach position is expected to draw plenty of interest. The Pirates are historically one of the state’s top teams and have produced numerous NBA players, including Doc Rivers, Michael Finley and Shannon Brown.

Proviso East’s football program and Proviso West’s basketball and football teams have also generated a number of Division I players over the years. Recently, Nebraska redshirt freshman defensive back Corey Cooper played at Proviso East, and USC redshirt freshman wide receiver Kyle Prater played at Proviso West.

Proviso East principal Milton Patch will oversee the hiring process when he becomes the district-wide athletics and activities coordinator in July.