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Silver coaches unsure of status

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The head softball coach, baseball coach and boys basketball coach at Silver High have been fired.

Or have they?

A confusing situation is unfolding in Silver City, as Duane Trewern, Claudie Thompson and Brandon Siqueiros say they are unsure of their coaching status after a Monday meeting with outgoing Superintendent Lon Streib.

Although the Silver City Sun-News reported that the trio had been fired, none of the three men – who all spoke to the

Journal on Wednesday – would say they were definitively out of a job.

“I never heard the word ‘terminate.’ I never heard the word ‘fired,'” Trewern, the Colts’ softball coach for the last 12 years, said. “Absolutely no reason was given to me.”

“We were never specifically told that we were fired, and we were never specifically told we wouldn’t have our coaching job,” said Thompson, the Silver baseball coach for 18 seasons.

“I believe I’m the head boys basketball coach at Silver High School,” said Siqueiros, coming off his ninth season.

What is known – according to the three coaches – is this:

Streib instructed the school’s principal, Beth Lougee, and athletic director, Victor Oaxaca, to let the three men know their coaching contracts would not be renewed next season. In essence, that translates into a dismissal for a high school coach.

The men were told by Streib they could re-apply for their jobs.

“I’ve done nothing wrong, and the other two coaches have done nothing wrong,” Trewern said.

Lougee and Oaxaca declined to talk to the coaches and were placed on administrative leave by Streib, who took the job on himself.

But therein lies the confusion, since none of the three coaches said Streib explicitly relieved him of his duties.

“It was very unclear and extremely vague,” Trewern said.

Trewern was perhaps most confused of anyone, since less than two weeks ago he coached Silver to its sixth consecutive state championship.

The three men sent Streib a letter asking him to clarify the contents of Monday’s meeting, Trewern said, who added that Streib replied that coaching positions are not automatically renewed from year to year.

“I am still the coach until my contract runs out,” Trewern said.

Tonight, there is to be a special school board meeting, at which point it is believed that the Silver school district may offer Streib a buyout of his contract. All three coaches told the Journal they expect a large number of supporters to gather in the hopes of being heard by the board. However, it is unknown if anyone will be given the chance to speak in an open forum.

An email to Streib on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

A group of 17 Silver coaches – some of them head coaches, some assistant coaches – threatened to resign unless Streib reinstated Lougee and Oaxaca and made sure that Trewern, Thompson and Siqueiros all continued to coach next school year, Trewern said.

Although the three coaches in question insisted that none of those 17 had actually submitted a letter of resignation, Streib nevertheless dispatched a letter to the group informing them that their resignations had been accepted as of Tuesday.

“We’re in a holding pattern until we know who the next superintendent is,” Thompson said. “To tell you the truth, we’re in limbo.”