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Chandler relieved of UC golf duties

Chandler relieved of UC golf duties
Jeff Chandler not only won’t be the Union City High School girls’ basketball coach next season, he won’t be in charge of the Tornado golf program either.

Chandler, who resigned from his Lady Twister hoop post last week, was informed Monday he will not be retained as the UCHS golf coach.

Union City principal-in-waiting Wes Kennedy wouldn’t say that the removal of Chandler from the golf program was in response to Chandler’s claims that Lady Tornado basketball didn’t get the same treatment as some of the school’s other sports programs.

“I just felt like we needed a change in leadership of our golf program,” Kennedy responded, when questioned about his decision. “It was an administrative decision.”

Chandler, who has been the UC golf coach for five years, said he was told of the decision Monday afternoon after being summoned to a meeting with Kennedy and Union City Director of Schools Gary Houston.

The now ex-Tornado coach claimed he was surprised at being relieved of his links responsibilities, a position he’d said he’d hoped to keep when resigning his basketball duties on Wednesday of last week.

Chandler insisted he told both Kennedy and Houston in separate meetings of his intentions to quit after six seasons with the UCHS girls and that he felt all sports programs at the school were not always on the same level.

He said neither Kennedy nor Houston reacted negatively about those concerns until they appeared publicly in Thursday’s edition of The Messenger.

“Nothing was said when I told both Wes and Mr. Houston of why I was giving up basketball last week,” Chandler said. “Then, when I told you the same things I told them and it came out in the paper, things seem to have changed.”

Chandler claimed he intended no ill will toward the administration when he relayed his concerns about and reasoning for stepping down from the girls’ basketball position.

“Anybody who knows me, knows that the things I’ve done and the things I’ve stood up for in this business are more for the kids than for myself,” he said. “My daddy taught me to always stand up for what I believe in and to always do what’s right for the kids. 

“I’m disappointed that I won’t get to continue working with the kids in our golf program, and I feel like this only hurts them.”

Chandler’s first two Union City boys’ golf teams placed second in regional tournament, winning the district one of those years.

Last year’s girls’ squad placed third in the district, its highest finish ever.

The program has had at least one regional tournament qualifier in each of his five seasons at the helm.

No timetable has been set to fill either of the two coaching vacancies, though Kennedy is set to begin interviews for the basketball position this week.

The new UC principal and athletic director said a new golf coach would be named before the end of the current school year.

Assistant coach Cristina Grimm has been put in charge of the basketball program until Chandler’s successor is named.

Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.