Posted: 6:18 pm Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
By Jason Lieser
Palm Beach Gardens football coach Kevin Fleury was relieved of his duties Tuesday, and players were informed today.
“The fired me,” said Fleury, who was surprised by his dismissal. “They’re going in a different direction. Hopefully they let me keep my teaching job.”
Fleury coached the football team four seasons and teaches physical education at the high school. He did not divulge the reason for his firing.
“You’ll have to ask them,” Fleury said, referring to the school’s administration. “I’m sure they can put the perfect spin on it. I just really want to go forward.”
Prior to this season, Fleury went 31-7 and won the Class 6A state championship in 2005. This year, Palm Beach Gardens went 2-8 and missed the post-season for the first time in Fleury’s tenure.
Athletic director Bill Weed said the decision was made collectively by the administration and had nothing to do with Fleury’s coaching ability or the team’s 2-8 record. Weed said he was not aware of any rift between Fleury and his supervisors and no player issued a complaint against Fleury.
“There is no particular reason,” Weed said. “Some things just weren’t going the way they should.
“There is no scandal we’re hiding. There’s nothing serious here.”
Of course, when someone says “there is no scandal” but refuses to give any explanation for firing a coach with an impressive record, that raises more questions than it answers. Weed acknowledged that point, but refused to provide any further details. Especially when Fleury’s 2-8 record “was not a factor.”
He said firing Fleury had been discussed over “a matter of weeks,” and the decision was made before Thanksgiving. Weed added that Fleury will retain his job as a P.E. teacher.
Fleury sounded frustrated but somewhat upbeat when discussing the situation.
“I feel in my heart that God has a plan for everybody,” he said. “I don’t want to go out crying or moaning. There will be better things for me.”
Weed is in the process of officially posting the job opening and anticipates at least 70 applicants before the Jan. 31 deadline. He expects current assistant coaches Al Shipman and Bill Doyen to emerge as candidates, but is committed to considering a full field of potential replacements.
“I can’t say they’d have a leg up, but they’re known in the community and they know the kids,” Weed said of Shipman and Doyen. “That’s an advantage.”