Super: Olsen Contract Decision Not Related To Players' Criminal Charges
Olsen tells NorthJersey.com that he'd like to remain football coach.
The decision to not renew Wayne Hills football coach Chris Olsen's contract as athletic director was not connected to his handling of criminal charges filed against nine of this players last fall, Superintendent of Schools Ray Gonzalez said Friday.
“Anyone who assumes that anything that was decided the other day had anything to do with the past, I can assure you that those assumptions are not founded,” Gonzalez said.
The contracts of Olsen and Wayne Valley Athletic Director Dan Kilday will expire before June 30. Kilday coaches boys’ soccer at Wayne Valley High School. Gonzalez would not say whether the men will have the opportunity to return for the 2012-2013 school year as coaches.
Olsen, who is a tenured physical education teacher, told NorthJersey.com on Friday that he planned to return to teaching and wants to be on the sidelines when Hills takes the field this fall to defend its state championship.
Officials adopted a new policy in January that prohibits administrators and supervisors from coaching sports teams or acting as advisers of any district athletic, co-curricular, or extra-curricular program.
The board said it would address such conflicts of interest after nine football players were charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking two Wayne Valley students last October. The players, eight of whom were minors at the time of the incident, were suspended from the team’s state championship game in December. Olsen was criticized in some corners for not suspending the players for the team’s first two state playoff games.
The board’s decision is part of a larger plan to reorganize the Wayne Public School District’s administrative structure. New principals will be hired at George Washington and Schuyler-Colfax middle schools, Lafayette Elementary School, and Wayne Hills High School. Officials have already begun searching for the new principals.
The district’s special education, guidance and athletic departments are also being reorganized.
Gonzalez is the district’s first permanent superintendent the district has had since 2009. He signed a five-year contract with the district in December 2010.
The board voted earlier this year to cut $2.5 million from the budget in order to get the budget below a state-mandated 2 percent increase cap.
“I have a long-term commitment to this district and my charge is to now reorganize the district in order to be able to provide the same level of quality and service to our students, but with fewer resources,” Gonzalez said. “In order to make that happen, I have to reorganize staff and reallocate resources to ensure that we give students the same educational experiences that they have received in the district. We have to make sure that we utilize our resources effectively.”
The school portion of the average homeowner’s taxes will increase $127 due to the board approving the district’s $127 million tax levy, the portion of the budget funded by local taxes, in March. The total budget for the 2012-2013 school year is $144 million.
“Anything that we’ve done so far has a clear connection to our goals for the district,” Gonzalez said. “The expenditure of that budget demands that we act as responsibly as we can in order to ensure the best education possible for our students.”