W-G shake up follows Patton resignation

The Waynesfield-Goshen Locals Schools board of education approved Monday in a special meeting the resignation of Ted Patton from his position as the head varsity girls basketball coach of Waynesfield-Goshen High School.

In an interview after the meeting, W-G Superintendent Chris Pfister said, “The only thing I can really say is that there were some internal issues with the program.”

Four members of the public were present at the meeting Monday, but board members chose not to address them. Privately, however, individuals close to the situation have provided the Wapakoneta Daily News some details surrounding the “internal issues” Pfister mentioned.

WDN learned last Thursday that two members of the varsity team had quit for reasons which included them being “berated” by Patton in the locker room after a Dec. 26 loss to Elida and receiving constant “mental and emotional abuse” from Patton while he was coach.

Other sources have insisted that Patton’s behavior toward players has been poor on a routine basis in the past.

One source said in the past, other players have transferred from the school due to Patton and pointed out that this year’s senior class has only one player still in the basketball program, with roughly a dozen deciding not to play for Patton during his time as head coach.

Patton’s daughter, Emily, a freshman, left the team after her father’s resignation.

The two players who quit last week were long-time participants in basketball programs at W-G. A source said one of those former players has since transferred from the school entirely due to Patton. 

Earlier this season, a meeting between a former player’s family, Patton and Doug Foley, who was then the assistant varsity coach, was held to “go over issues.”

After the initial meeting, the former player’s family had another problem, and this time they requested to meet only with Foley, who is also the WGHS guidance counselor.

Ultimately, regarding the entire situation, “things weren’t handled properly,” the source said, prompting one of the players to quit last Wednesday.

Pfister said neither he, Principal T.J. Winkler nor Athletic Director Brett Purcell were aware of any meetings earlier this season with the coaching staff.

Pfister said Winkler was first informed of issues from parents last week. Winkler then began to look into the issues.

“When the principal communicated with me that things were going on, he looked into it,” Pfister said. “The principal did talk with players, looking into what the parents were saying.”

During the process of looking into parents’ complaints, the school then talked with Patton, whose decision was to resign from his position.

Pfister said it is not accurate that Patton was forced to resign or risk being fired as coach.

Foley was named new head varsity coach at Monday’s special meeting, replacing Patton for the rest of the season.

One source said the school administration has been made aware of their unease with Foley being in charge of the program. Foley declined to comment in response.

“I am fully confident in Coach Foley leading the program,” Pfister said.

The superintendent also said that further changes are coming to the girls basketball program. He did not further specify those changes before discussing them with the school board.

Pfister said those changes will likely take place at next month’s board of education meeting and be announced in a press release.

Patton said in a phone call this morning that he has no comment on the matter.