WASHBURN, Maine — Mike Carlos, coach of the two-time state Class D champion Washburn District High School girls basketball team, has not been rehired for next season.
The decision was confirmed Friday afternoon in an email to the BDN from Mike McIntosh, chairman of the school board, and by interim superintendent Edward Buckley on Friday evening.
“We had a good time, won a couple of gold balls, now it’s time to move on and go someplace else,” said Carlos, who just capped his third season as coach earlier this month with the Beavers’ second straight gold ball.
Buckley said Carlos was told of the decision Tuesday.
“He called me directly and asked,” said Buckley, who declined to give a reason to the BDN for Carlos not being rehired.
That didn’t bother Carlos.
“I didn’t ask for a reason,” he said.
Buckley did have a prepared statement for the BDN when asked about the timeline dealing with the decision not to rehire Carlos and the reasons for it.
“Washburn District High School is a unique school where students respect the teachers and our teachers respect the students. We encourage all students to participate in sports, music, drama and clubs because students who are involved in co-curricular activities are healthier and much more well-rounded individuals. Consequently, we do not measure the success of our athletic teams by the number of contests they win but whether it is a positive experience for all our students,” Buckley said.
Buckley said the decision not to renew Carlos’ contract was his.
“Yes. The superintendent hires and fires all at-will employees,” Buckley said.
Washburn vice principal and athletic director Ron Ericson, who was the girls basketball coach before Carlos was hired for the 2009-2010 season, said the job is a one-year contract position in accordance with the teachers’ contract with an annual stipend.
“All positions in schedule B are one-year contracts,” said Ericson.
Ericson had only an estimate on the stipend.
“It’s not a great deal; $4,000-$5,000 would be a rough estimate,” he said. “It’s not very high compared to the work they do.”
Carlos’ teams posted a combined record of 41-3 over the last two seasons, and the Beavers were the No. 1 seed for the Eastern Maine Class D girls tournament both years.
The 2011 team earned the program’s first state title since 1989 by downing Richmond 43-30. The team hadn’t won an East crown since 1989 either.
The Beavers successfully defended their state title with a 60-35 win in a rematch with the Bobcats on March 3 at the Augusta Civic Center.
Washburn posted a 13-5 record in Carlos’ first year and was fourth in the final Heal points rankings. Bangor Christian defeated Washburn in the quarterfinals.
The next coach will have a young but veteran team. Six of the 13 varsity players in the state game were freshmen this year, including EM Class D tourney MVP Mackenzie Worcester. Other key players include sophomores Carsyn Koch and Carmen Bragg, while juniors Olivia Doody, Megan Fitzpatrick and Rayah Saucier are the only upperclassmen.
The process to find Carlos’ replacement hasn’t begun yet, said Buckley, and nobody has put forth their name.
“Today was the first day anyone knew about it [outside the school],” said Buckley. “We won’t advertise it for a couple of months anyway.”
Carlos attended the school’s winter sports banquet Thursday night, as did Buckley.
“I didn’t mention it,” said Buckley, “but I guess Mike did.”
The Washburn post was the latest of several high school and college sports jobs he has held over the course of more than 30 years.
He served as the high school boys soccer coach at Houlton and Hodgdon; the girls basketball coach at East Grand in Danforth, as well as being the athletic director for a time; and stints as the women’s soccer coach, softball coach and men’s basketball coach at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
Carlos will look for another coaching job.
“I have always coached and I will continue to coach,” he said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story contained an error. The superintendent’s name is Edward, not Ernie, Buckley.