Staff Change Arouses Student Criticism and Protest

A petition has been circulating campus protesting the change in staff at the Fitness Center, in wake of the hiring of a new men’s volleyball coach.

Dave King, Director of Athletics, explained that one staff member had previously coached both women’s and men’s volleyball. By dividing the teams under different leadership, each could then be given more attention and improved. However, the coaching positions are only part-time jobs, which do not include benefits within the university.

The half-time Fitness Center coordinator position has been structured in multiple ways over the years, being covered alternately by Student Life administrators and coaches. With the hiring of two new half-time volleyball coaches, university leaders looked into how their positions could be made into three-quarter time jobs, which provide benefits.

Senior David Byrd, one student who has been asking students to sign the petition, has been a Fitness Center employee for four years.

“John Wilson has been my manager for most of that time,” Byrd said. “Everyone likes him a lot. He’s added a lot of new stuff to the Fitness Center that we did not have four years ago.”

“John Wilson has been serving in that role as a very competent Fitness Center coordinator, and we’ve been very pleased with his work in that role,” commented Vice President of Student Life, Ken L. Nafziger. “I want to be clear that any changes that have occurred are structural changes, and ones that relate to how we cover that particular role.”

“John Wilson himself has always been great, and has done nothing wrong,” Byrd said as to why he opposes the change in staffing.

These changes began in July, when Jeff Tyson was hired as the head women’s volleyball coach.

“We were in need of another quarter-time [employee], so John agreed to continue with a quarter-time. There was an understanding that we were looking at possibly restructuring once we hired a second, men’s volleyball coach,” said Nafziger.

“We want to be very clear that there was no intent to communicate anything at all negative about the previous Fitness Center coordinator, but this was a planned transition.”

The potential changes were made public when the university advertised the possibility of adding Fitness Center hours to the men’s volleyball coach position during the hiring process. Nafziger explained that this role would only be given to the new volleyball coach if he or she were qualified to fulfill the duties of a Fitness Center coordinator.

Nafziger continued, “Gary [Moore], who’s coming in for the men’s volleyball position, is currently working as a fitness coordinator in his current role.”

Moore enters the Royal’s men’s volleyball team as its seventh head coach. He also played on the team during the 1996 season and has  career experience in volleyball leadership and fitness center supervision.

Randi Hagi, Co-Editor in Chief 


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