UMD Researcher Looking Into Why Head Coaches Are Leaving Their Positions
The Mike Randolph situation has prompted more conversations about the role parents play in youth sports.
DULUTH, Minn. – The Mike Randolph situation has prompted more conversations about the role parents play in youth sports.
Sean Bedard-Parker, a local soccer official who works in the education department at UMD, is currently researching organizational leadership in sports while trying to answer the question “why do people who are involved in the game decide to leave it?”
“I think that what we’re seeing is the pressure of being a coach, someone in a leadership capacity related to the game, running head up against the aspirations of those who would like to see their child get money for college, go to D1. And coaches are seeing their influence in some ways eroded by aspirational parents,” said Bedard-Parker.
He added that situations like Randolph’s will adversely effect the next generation of coaches, who might think twice before taking the top position at a local school.
“My fear is that we’ll see coaches with less time in saying these more visible coaches with more pedigree are being chased out: what makes me any different? Why should I keep up with this if I don’t have the pedigree of a Mike Randolph? I should leave before it gets so bad that I have some emotional, physical or mental health issues as a result of being, in the coach’s opinion, harassed,” Bedard-Parker said.