Volleyball coach contact renews for 2020 season

Gwen Forster will be returning for next season after coaching techniques were questioned

Abigail Vondy, Managing Editor

Decisions have been finalized and the school has somewhat cooled down after a dispute involving volleyball staff, players and their parents. At the end of the season, after state championships, rumors spread quickly among students about the reasons behind the dispute and how the school handled it. 

In December, volleyball head coach Gwen Forster,  who has won six state titles in her nearly decade coaching career at Eaton, had been questioned about her coaching techniques. Soon rumors developed and many students believed Forster’s contract would not be renewed for the 2020 season. 

The situation has brought tension between players on the volleyball team. Some strongly believe Forster should continue her work, and others strongly believe she should not. After accusations of treating the players poorly, and talking to them in a way that was unacceptable, parents, coaches and players spoke both in favor and in opposition of Forster’s renewal at the Eaton Board of Education regular meeting on January 13.

After a unanimous vote, Forster’s contract was renewed and she will be coming back to coach for the 2020 volleyball season. 

Eaton high school principal Jay Tapia said, “Our commitment is to make all of our programs stronger and to work together with all sports, not just volleyball, to try and make some changes.” 

This isn’t the only incident of coaches’ behavior being brought into question at Eaton. Since 2011, three coaches, including Jim Danley, Dean Grable, and Mike Armstrong, have been in the same position as Forster. This is not new territory for the EHS staff, and soon they will have a more efficient way of handling these kinds of situations. 

To help address issues such as these in the future, Tapia said, “We are going to look at putting together an athletic council that will consist of players, coaches, and parents from all sports to get feedback and to make sure we improve our programs as we move forward.”