Controversy surrounding firing of East St. Louis basketball coach Ray Coleman

9:49 PM, Apr 16, 2012   |    comments
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By Alex Fees

East St. Louis, IL (KSDK) - There's controversy surrounding the East St. Louis High basketball coach.

Despite a winning record, he's been fired.

Ray Coleman says that his attitude to prepare players for life after high school is why East St. Louis High School athletic officials have notified him he won't be back, despite a two year record of 47 wins and 18 losses.

"My philosophy is the discipline starts off the court. You can't all of the sudden come to practice, and then you're going to perform. You can't be a menace in the classroom and then all of the sudden come out onto the basketball court and perform," said Coleman.

Monday night, Coach Coleman heard mostly supporters address the East St. Louis School board, including players and community members.

"There may be good qualities in Ray Coleman, I'm not saying that. But there are some bad ones," said Joyce January, one player's grandparent.

Joyce January is the only person who spoke-out against Coach Coleman. But she had supporters in the audience. Her grandson is a basketball player, DeShawn Munson.

Munson is a star on the East St Louis team and was suspended by Coach Coleman.

"He was more so not trying to discipline the players as control them. And my grandson was not somebody he could control," said Joyce.

The board did go into executive session Monday night, but no action is expected on Coleman's case.



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