There was an article in the Lowell Sun the other day that focused on the long hours coaches put in for what turns out to be minimal pay. It showcased a couple area coaches and showed that with their preparation and off-season programs most coaches work for less than minimum wage when all that time is factored in.
What a friend pointed out to me and what I found more interesting was the side bar story about salary comparison of area Varsity coaches; Based on this story Lowell appears to pay their coaches much more than any other communities in the area for the major sports.
Let me be clear here before I get crushed with comments, I am not disputing the hours put in by a coach or the fact that coaches are not in this for the money. Most spend a great deal on what they make on the program or the kids in one way or another.I’m also not saying we should eliminate sports. I’m just pointing out that Lowell seems to pay the highest salary in a time when money is tight and funds can be better used elsewhere.
In Football Lowell pays $13,353 which is $3,250 more then the next highest area school (Billerica). In Basketball it is a $3,400.00 difference, Ice Hockey and Wrestling $3,174, Baseball/Softball $3,724.00, Cross Country $2,767.00
I know it may not seem like a lot of money but with tight budgets and possible level funding coming from the state, reductions and cuts may be a necessity so isn’t it time the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? (Mr. Spock Star Trek, Wrath of Kahn)
While sports is an important part of High School life and a way for some to get into college the average student doesn’t participate nor attend most of the sporting events. In the other sports like Field Hockey, Tennis, Track etc. salaries are much closer. Why is it in these sports we pay $3,000 more?
If you total the difference between what Lowell pays in Football, Basketball, Wrestling, Baseball and Cross Country. it equals $19,039 more then the next highest district. Couldn’t we buy some needed text books or computers or Library books that more students could use?
I always thought and still do that the average student gets neglected. Tthey are provided the minimal service while the Athlete and the “smart kids” get the attention, the better teachers, better schedules and tutors. The Special Needs kids get extra support and services. Your average student who doesn’t participate in sports and isn’t an honor high honor student goes along usually un-noticed. It may seem like a small item but as a guy who was the average student it was always something that I noticed and thought was unfair.
If we need to make any cuts and with negotiations coming up for the Football Coach, we need to look at the salaries for coaches in these sports and line them up with the rest of the Merrimack Valley Schools.
The article which can be found here: http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_14258908?IADID=Search-www.lowellsun.com-www.lowellsun.com
*Note from the Sun Colum : Top-step salaries are listed from those teacher contracts with salary steps based on experience; current coaches have not necessarily reached top step. At most schools, boys and girls coaching the same sport (example, basketball) make the same pay. Sources: School department budgets, teacher contracts, athletic directors