SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Southfield and Southfield Lathrup high schools will be merging to create Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology.
The merger has created quite the controversy between the two girls' basketball coaches at the schools.
The initial decision from Dr. Lynda Wood, the district's superintendent, was to let a committee pick the coaches for the combined girls' team.
The committee chose Jamie Glinz, a seasoned coach who turned the Southfield team into a 20-2 powerhouse.
Shortly after accepting the position, Glinz was notified by the school that he was being replaced by the coach from Southfield Lathrups, Michelle Marshall.
The news shocked Glinz and those who thought he was fit for the job.
“Things were going very smoothly. He was successfully merging the teams. Everyone was getting along. There was really no reason for upheaval from the administration,” said Scott Burnstien, high school sports writer at the Oakland Press.
The change came after Southfield Lathrup parents successfully lobbied for the job to go to Marshall, who they say is a good female role model and proven successful girls' basketball coach.
The decision to change upset other parents, who say the choice of coach should not be decided on gender alone.
The drama between coaches and parents worries the players who are hoping to earn scholarships to help pay for college.
The superintendent says the decision to replace Glinz with Marshall was based on the committee's opinion that Marshall was best-suited to hold the position of girls basketball coach, adding Glinz had been invited to serve as an assistant coach.
She declined to say whether or not the decision was based on the gender of the two coaches, but referred to the schools policy on equal employment opportunity.
Wood says the decision is final, but not official as the school board needs to sign off at the beginning of the new school year.
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