MILFORD - The drumbeat you hear is a group of parents seeking the head of Caroline High School football coach Gene Boley.
The group recently submitted a petition to school principal Harper Donahoe seeking Boley's removal.
The parents presented their petition to the Caroline County School Board
on Monday night.
A number of them also used the opportunity to air a litany of complaints against Boley
, who just completed his
second season of coaching and guided the Cavaliers to their second 2-8 season.
Parents, most of them fathers of football players, took up the first portion of the board's meeting as they detailed their concerns about Boley
They complained that Boley
has used profanity with the players and cursed them, repeatedly lied to players, manipulates players and plays them off one another, and has not abided by a written agreement between coaches, players, and parents.
exhibits poor communication skills, is neither a mentor nor a role model, and essentially is not a positive influence for the players, they contended.
About a half-dozen parents addressed the board about Boley
Their comments usually drew applause from a group of about 12-15 other parents and supporters.
defended himself against the claims in a phone call to The Progress on Tuesday.
admitted one instance when he
cursed a player, said Boley
notified Donahoe and apologized to the player the next day, he
acknowledged occasional use of mild profanities but said he
has not cursed players.
"I've never cussed the kids on the sidelines in the games, in practice," said Boley
"If anything, I've tried to correct the kids from the language they use in practice."
suggested that allegations of lying were the result of his
telling players that they had the potential to start at a position to help motivate them.
"I do tell a lot of kids, 'If you work hard, you have a chance to be a starter.' " However, some players do not reach that level, he
"We do pick the best kids to be starters."
"That looks like I'm lying to players," he
"I think the future what I'll do is refrain from telling kids they have an opportunity to be a good player…if they see that as lying."
The written agreement with players and parents notes that players who miss practice without a valid excuse may miss playing time or be removed from the team.
"I have followed that rule to the letter," said Boley
If a player has a valid reason to be absent, another player may not be aware of it and only realize he
is missing, noted Boley, and later wonder why the teammate has been allowed to play.
has tried to teach the players more than football skills.
"I always talk to them like football is a job," he
said, and encourages players to "treat it like a job" in order to accept responsibility - to show up on time and make a good effort.
Players and parents alike are afraid to confront Boley
retaliates by benching or demoting players, she
also has sent "very inappropriate" text messages to players, said Taylor, taunting them and using terms like "wuss" if a player sought to be excused from practice because of an injury or other health reasons.
acknowledged that he
has encouraged players to participate in weight training for their own good.
attributed the grievances to a lack of communication between him and parents and acknowledged receiving complaints from parents during the past season.
"I really believe I do have to do a better job of communication with parents," he
first season he
held a pre-season meeting with parents, but this past season he
is re-writing a team manual that he
will review with parents prior to next season, he
"I appreciate the input of parents," said Boley
"They're welcome to talk to me about anything."
"If I'd had a parent meeting, I probably could have cleared up some of these things," he
Some of the parents who spoke at the meeting were parents of players who were disciplined, according to Boley
In addition, he
was not familiar with the names of some people who signed the petition.
"They don't have a child on the varsity," he
Donahoe said later he
received the petition a week ago.
Since then he
and athletic director Jeremy Jack have been attempting to contact people who signed the petition to set up individual meetings with them to hear their grievances.
Only one person has participated in a meeting so far, he
and all fall coaches are evaluated in December-January, noted Donahoe.