District Results-Centerville girls

grange45

Member
I have no idea about the inner workings of Centerville and I've never met their coach, but (when you know you can qualify) I don't have any issue with letting the second varsity team race. I don't see it as an advantage for the athletes resting that week, but it's a huge advantage for the program as a whole to keep twice as many kids motivated and training.
As a coach, if you can only motivate your jv by sitting your varsity at districts then you have a problem with your entire program.

It’s only one extra week and the negative outweighs the positive.
 
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ccrunner609

Active member
Plenty of races to run post season/offseason to get kids interested in running, those JV girls could have ran Ghost and Goblins the other night. At least they could run a fast time.
 

4Kids

New member
I rarely post to social media but saw postings several pages back about the next board meeting and the team banquet that persuaded me to share my perspective as a parent who had a daughter in the Centerville Girls’ XC program. My prediction is that there will be no protest by athletes or parents. If there is any mention of the district meet, it will be positioned in a way to make the athletes and parents sympathize with the coach. Most people who posted will find this view surprising because they do not know what the team is really like. It’s a cult and he is the leader. He is also protected by Centerville administration as you read in the DDN article. The families who spoke up a few years ago were attacked by the cult…think “Lord of the Flies”. After receiving the letter that was distributed throughout the Centerville community, I decided to speak to one of the people targeted in the letter. They shared with me that their concerns were about health and safety issues due to the way some girls were mistreated. It was NOT training and the other petty concerns that were listed. The only people who will go public will praise the coach because that is what is rewarded.
 

Percidae

Member
I rarely post to social media but saw postings several pages back about the next board meeting and the team banquet that persuaded me to share my perspective as a parent who had a daughter in the Centerville Girls’ XC program. My prediction is that there will be no protest by athletes or parents. If there is any mention of the district meet, it will be positioned in a way to make the athletes and parents sympathize with the coach. Most people who posted will find this view surprising because they do not know what the team is really like. It’s a cult and he is the leader. He is also protected by Centerville administration as you read in the DDN article. The families who spoke up a few years ago were attacked by the cult…think “Lord of the Flies”. After receiving the letter that was distributed throughout the Centerville community, I decided to speak to one of the people targeted in the letter. They shared with me that their concerns were about health and safety issues due to the way some girls were mistreated. It was NOT training and the other petty concerns that were listed. The only people who will go public will praise the coach because that is what is rewarded.
Interesting. My daughter also ran for a successful state championship program that had what I would call a "cultish" coach at the time. I kidded with her about it as my nickname for the elite group was The Manson Girls. The dynamic is this. Actual training protocol and the other technical aspects of coaching are not really important to this type of coach. What does matter is 100% belief that what he is doing is the exact right thing. 100% buy in is the secret sauce. I get this since so much of distance running is mental. But it can come off as brainwashing and cultish in appearance from the outside. This may be unique to girls teams with a male coach, I don't know. I really do not think it stepped over any boundaries though so it was kind of a running joke more than a serious concern. That coach is now gone. The program continues with actually better results in some respects.
 
Fathers thank you for posting. I am interested in hearing more. Not gossip but general things that were concerning to parents and some team members. I did not coach girls but had some boys who thought things were too controlling. I saw it as they were the guys who wanted a fun club and mocked the guys who wanted to do everything to improve. I thought they wanted something to put on their resume but was not really into the sport. Maybe I was at fault. What were the broad concerns of parents and team members from a program like Centerville and others that seems to glide along smoothly to outsiders.
 

ccrunner609

Active member
Interesting. My daughter also ran for a successful state championship program that had what I would call a "cultish" coach at the time. I kidded with her about it as my nickname for the elite group was The Manson Girls. The dynamic is this. Actual training protocol and the other technical aspects of coaching are not really important to this type of coach. What does matter is 100% belief that what he is doing is the exact right thing. 100% buy in is the secret sauce. I get this since so much of distance running is mental. But it can come off as brainwashing and cultish in appearance from the outside. This may be unique to girls teams with a male coach, I don't know. I really do not think it stepped over any boundaries though so it was kind of a running joke more than a serious concern. That coach is now gone. The program continues with actually better results in some respects.
Its total BS that people thinks there is abuse or brain washing going on. But soccer, wrestling and other sports can push kids all year around, tell kids they are all getting scholarships, make them cut 30 pounds to get a spot but a passionate CC coach is abusive.
 

grange45

Member
Its total BS that people thinks there is abuse or brain washing going on. But soccer, wrestling and other sports can push kids all year around, tell kids they are all getting scholarships, make them cut 30 pounds to get a spot but a passionate CC coach is abusive.
A passionate coach should give its BEST runners the opportunity to compete in the postseason with no unnecessary gamble at play and build the JV in a more positive way. You even said this ccrunner. This is the 5th time Ive said it: it was avoidable and should of not have happened in the first place. I don't think there is brainwashing but a ton of parents didn't step forward because he and the administration view him as untouchable because of his success.
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
I rarely post to social media but saw postings several pages back about the next board meeting and the team banquet that persuaded me to share my perspective as a parent who had a daughter in the Centerville Girls’ XC program. My prediction is that there will be no protest by athletes or parents. If there is any mention of the district meet, it will be positioned in a way to make the athletes and parents sympathize with the coach. Most people who posted will find this view surprising because they do not know what the team is really like. It’s a cult and he is the leader. He is also protected by Centerville administration as you read in the DDN article. The families who spoke up a few years ago were attacked by the cult…think “Lord of the Flies”. After receiving the letter that was distributed throughout the Centerville community, I decided to speak to one of the people targeted in the letter. They shared with me that their concerns were about health and safety issues due to the way some girls were mistreated. It was NOT training and the other petty concerns that were listed. The only people who will go public will praise the coach because that is what is rewarded.
If you what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt you, then cult of personality is a major problem at Centerville. People becoming to ensconced in their positions due to longevity will typically make bigger mistakes the longer that longevity goes unchallenged. Life is full of bazillions of examples like that. I've heard that Centerville is like what you say, but I had no first-hand observations of such.

All I can say is if such a strategy fails again in the future, which I certainly don't wish for any team so blessed as to be able to rest people during a critical qualifying event, then Centerville coaching and especially administration will rightfully come under fire from many quarters.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
Every coach will have kids and parents that will have stories of how terrible they are. Law of averages. I'm now more disturbed that my lord of the flies reference was ripped off.
 

EuclidandViren

Active member
Its total BS that people thinks there is abuse or brain washing going on. But soccer, wrestling and other sports can push kids all year around, tell kids they are all getting scholarships, make them cut 30 pounds to get a spot but a passionate CC coach is abusive.
ccrunner609- there is definitely a difference between passion and abuse. Was the line crossed from passion to abuse?

The question is what is acceptable behavior for a coach? Nick Saban ranting and cussing a 22-year-old punter out on the sidelines- is that acceptable?

Is a 40-year-old coach allowed to cuss out a 14-year-old girl at cross country practice? That is what parents are posting on this thread.

The pressure a coach must be under to do that in either situation is crazy. If you step back and realize the situation from an outsider. The basic fundamentals of this so-called life and that this is just a game or sport. It is crazy to think about a punter in the grand scheme of life.

Was the line crossed? Is it crossed continuously? That is up to the coach and his savior the almighty.
 
I would still like to hear again from the parents as to what concerned them. Was their daughter dropped on a long run and the coach cussed at her? Did the coach have voodoo dolls of some kids and poke them with pins? Were they left behind at a meet and made to run home because they did race well? There has to be something if they are being labeled a cult or manson girls. I told plenty of boys that they were not training or racing with their best efforts that they were performing below their capabilities. Was I running a cult? I am curious of others perceptions.
 

grange45

Member
I would still like to hear again from the parents as to what concerned them. Was their daughter dropped on a long run and the coach cussed at her? Did the coach have voodoo dolls of some kids and poke them with pins? Were they left behind at a meet and made to run home because they did race well? There has to be something if they are being labeled a cult or manson girls. I told plenty of boys that they were not training or racing with their best efforts that they were performing below their capabilities. Was I running a cult? I am curious of others perceptions.
I really think some coaches are seen like this when they are more in it for themselves and not the athletes. The “my way or the highway” mentality and too focused on the glory also add to this perception. Overly focused on the program success and beliefs instead of the individual athletes. Parents and athletes can easily see it.

You can easily see coaches that treat their teams as cults at meets. After seeing the head boys coach post a while back on this thread about Dobson after the district race, I can see how the girls team can be viewed as that.
 
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I understand that mentality although I am not sure what my way or the highway means. Does that mean they do not have to follow rules or training. How does a coach act that is in it for themselves? How is a coach too focused on glory? How does a coach focus on program success instead of individual athletes? I know my definitions of these things but would like to hear the perception of parents that compared it to a cult or manson girls. Those comparisons seem extreme but maybe not. I am curious what they think.
 

5x26

Member
I think in most Coach vs Athete/Parent situations you get a strong fear of what repercussion will happen perceived or real, and so in most sports with most coaches everyone just goes along with what the coach is saying or doing. I'd add that in 90% of the cases my belief is the coach is probably accurate or at least has the best intentions. But that does not change the fact that people fear the challenge and thus the cult moniker because everyone just goes a long with it. The above said, I believe it's also about 50/50 that a coach does alter his actions negatively towards an athlete when they get challenged even in a small way and that validates the fear and exasperates the situation.

I'm not going to pass judgement on the Centerville coach. His results are awesome and what he has done with the program as a whole and especially girls like Walsh, Bucher and Robillard who came in with strong talent but are at or climbing to the next level now, regardless of the mistake with Districts are beyond my judgement from the outside.
 

grange45

Member
Does anyone know if Dobson even apologized to his athletes and parents? With all the posts on here from people that know him, not once have I heard him doing this. I really thought the interview to DDN would have been a perfect opportunity to apologize to the entire community, but instead they basically just defended him.
 
Why do we need to know if he apologized to them. It is not the purpose of this post to have a coach apologize for his actions to Yappi chatters. If and when he apologizes for his action, that is an in house matter, not ours.
 

grange45

Member
Why do we need to know if he apologized to them. It is not the purpose of this post to have a coach apologize for his actions to Yappi chatters. If and when he apologizes for his action, that is an in house matter, not ours.
I didn’t say he should apologize to us. I was just asking because there is a lot of people on here that are affiliated with the program and the Centerville community should get an apology. It’s a black eye not only for the program but the community as well.

I guess I’m just hoping to see some person made a mistake and simply say I’m sorry instead of talking about unattained goals and a strategy not working. That’s all we’ve got from the newspaper article and boys head coach post.
 

Antelope

New member
Just to clarify, it is your assertion that this coach did not want his team to advance to the regional meet?
I don't know what this person's assertion is, but anyone who believed advancing to Regionals and State was critical would be so careless and cavalier at the district meet. Nobody does 50 miles a week for many hot months only to have their coach piss it away on a philosophical hunch.
 

CoachyCoach

New member
Are you in a state other than Ohio, CoachyCoach? I am a coach in Virginia and it is vastly different and watered down. We have moved to 6 divisions (You know, more money from football since teams with losing records make the playoffs). Our AD's decide how many move on from districts, which you can imagine is a cluster as most have no care for XC. In my district, the top 3 move on out of seven. Only 4 of those teams even have a scoring five, so our district meet is basically a duel. At regionals we have to be top 3 out of 16, so it becomes more challenging. We used to be 3 divisions, which made it so much more meaningful to advance to the state meet.

I hope the situation clears up with the centerville girls team and they can move forward in a positive manner. It hurts my heart to hear that there are girls that have lost the love for running as in my mind, that is the most important thing a coach can instill. If the kids enjoy what they are doing, they will perform. Happy kids run faster, period. I am of course not saying that there shouldn't be standards and structure, as they are important, but the kids will trust the system and have the confidence that comes with that if they enjoy what they are doing.
 

Capital96

New member
I have read all the posts coming in regarding the Centerville Girls Cross Country (CGXC) program this past week and half I wish I could voice my opinion to many of these posts. My daughter ran under Coach Dobson. When she left for college the ONE thing she asked me to do was to get rid of EVERY SINGLE item in her room that represented her high school athletic career in both CC and track. The comments made in the post “Oh if only you knew…” are unfortunately very true. May 2018, when the school board was discussing his contract and the community was up in arms, there were a couple hundred people at the meeting that night, I will guarantee 95% of the people there had absolutely no clue why the board was trying to get rid of him. All they knew was “he was such a nice guy and a great coach”, they had no idea, absolutely no clue what had transpired over that year and past nor will anyone ever know. Ccrunner 609, you truly have no idea. 4kids, you hit it on the nose with your comment. Abuse and brain washing was part of the program. Newton’s Third, it is not a perception of how these girls are treated, it is very real. The scars are so deep from many girls that it is not spoken about. PTSD is very real. I had never seen an individual personally experience this until I witnessed it in front of my own eyes. Ego and arrogance got the best of him. 4 State titles does not make someone a great coach.
There was powerful post from HoroBob (#146), TRUE and incredibly sad .

I never liked the idea of JV running in the District meet, I knew this was going to bite him one day and it did. Anyone could have looked at the times run this season at just a couple of the meets like SNL (although times are always fast at this meet), Les Eisenhart Invitation just to name two and know there wad no B team. It did not even need the stats of MileSplit to tell you that there is no B team. Please no offense to the JV team, they are beautiful young ladies BUT if no girl on the job team can run a sub a 20 consistently then there should not have been a JV team running at the district meet. I feel awful for all 14 girls! Many of the girls on the JV team were seniors and this was how they ended their season and the 2 seniors on Varsity, this was the end of their season. And since he doesn’t run the Varsity at their ”low key meets” in the beginning of the season either, these girls were short changed all around.
Very, very unfortunate and should have never happened.
 
Capital Thanks for sharing. I called it perception because I have no idea what goes on at Centerville or 99% of other programs around Ohio. Another parent described things similar to you but since nothing was specific and I am an outsider it is perception to me.

My questions have still gone unaddressed. Abuse, brain washing, manson girls, sad, scars, and other descriptions are major claims. What do parents see as abuse, brain washing, manson girls, and the other descriptive terms? I know nothing and am completely neutral but would like to see how parents and athletes define the terms used.
 

ccrunner609

Active member
I have read all the posts coming in regarding the Centerville Girls Cross Country (CGXC) program this past week and half I wish I could voice my opinion to many of these posts. My daughter ran under Coach Dobson. When she left for college the ONE thing she asked me to do was to get rid of EVERY SINGLE item in her room that represented her high school athletic career in both CC and track. The comments made in the post “Oh if only you knew…” are unfortunately very true. May 2018, when the school board was discussing his contract and the community was up in arms, there were a couple hundred people at the meeting that night, I will guarantee 95% of the people there had absolutely no clue why the board was trying to get rid of him. All they knew was “he was such a nice guy and a great coach”, they had no idea, absolutely no clue what had transpired over that year and past nor will anyone ever know. Ccrunner 609, you truly have no idea. 4kids, you hit it on the nose with your comment. Abuse and brain washing was part of the program. Newton’s Third, it is not a perception of how these girls are treated, it is very real. The scars are so deep from many girls that it is not spoken about. PTSD is very real. I had never seen an individual personally experience this until I witnessed it in front of my own eyes. Ego and arrogance got the best of him. 4 State titles does not make someone a great coach.
There was powerful post from HoroBob (#146), TRUE and incredibly sad .

I never liked the idea of JV running in the District meet, I knew this was going to bite him one day and it did. Anyone could have looked at the times run this season at just a couple of the meets like SNL (although times are always fast at this meet), Les Eisenhart Invitation just to name two and know there wad no B team. It did not even need the stats of MileSplit to tell you that there is no B team. Please no offense to the JV team, they are beautiful young ladies BUT if no girl on the job team can run a sub a 20 consistently then there should not have been a JV team running at the district meet. I feel awful for all 14 girls! Many of the girls on the JV team were seniors and this was how they ended their season and the 2 seniors on Varsity, this was the end of their season. And since he doesn’t run the Varsity at their ”low key meets” in the beginning of the season either, these girls were short changed all around.
Very, very unfortunate and should have never happened.
I may not have the insight that you have but I do observe things keenly. I have seen him coach ( at meets) and have been a rival/competing coach against him for many years. I have never seen his actions or personality as you describe it. Could they be.....sure. I am not going to be so quick to throw him personally under the bus. Now as for the decisions he has made, I whole heartedly find them to be unjustified and would never do it.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
I have read all the posts coming in regarding the Centerville Girls Cross Country (CGXC) program this past week and half I wish I could voice my opinion to many of these posts. My daughter ran under Coach Dobson. When she left for college the ONE thing she asked me to do was to get rid of EVERY SINGLE item in her room that represented her high school athletic career in both CC and track. The comments made in the post “Oh if only you knew…” are unfortunately very true. May 2018, when the school board was discussing his contract and the community was up in arms, there were a couple hundred people at the meeting that night, I will guarantee 95% of the people there had absolutely no clue why the board was trying to get rid of him. All they knew was “he was such a nice guy and a great coach”, they had no idea, absolutely no clue what had transpired over that year and past nor will anyone ever know. Ccrunner 609, you truly have no idea. 4kids, you hit it on the nose with your comment. Abuse and brain washing was part of the program. Newton’s Third, it is not a perception of how these girls are treated, it is very real. The scars are so deep from many girls that it is not spoken about. PTSD is very real. I had never seen an individual personally experience this until I witnessed it in front of my own eyes. Ego and arrogance got the best of him. 4 State titles does not make someone a great coach.
There was powerful post from HoroBob (#146), TRUE and incredibly sad .

I never liked the idea of JV running in the District meet, I knew this was going to bite him one day and it did. Anyone could have looked at the times run this season at just a couple of the meets like SNL (although times are always fast at this meet), Les Eisenhart Invitation just to name two and know there wad no B team. It did not even need the stats of MileSplit to tell you that there is no B team. Please no offense to the JV team, they are beautiful young ladies BUT if no girl on the job team can run a sub a 20 consistently then there should not have been a JV team running at the district meet. I feel awful for all 14 girls! Many of the girls on the JV team were seniors and this was how they ended their season and the 2 seniors on Varsity, this was the end of their season. And since he doesn’t run the Varsity at their ”low key meets” in the beginning of the season either, these girls were short changed all around.
Very, very unfortunate and should have never happened.
How as a parent, did you allow your daughter to participate in this type of climate? How did it get to a point where she hated it? I have 5 kids that all participated in athletics in HS. 3 in Cross Country and 4 Track and Field. I talked to all of them everyday and could pinpoint mood changes. My youngest son has grown up with coach Howard and loves him as a person. His first few years at HS, he did not like coach Howard as a coach. 4 weeks ago, we are talking and he tells me "Coach Howard is such a good coach!" That was on my son being immature and not about Howard. I can tell you though that there are Parents and kids that have not been fans.

I coach track and field and I had a kid tell me the only reason he came out as a senior was because he liked and respected me so much and felt he owed it to me. He then told me he almost quit as a sophomore because he hated me! He hated me bad until he finally figured me out. I could rattle off stories like that all day. I had a girl that I could barely remember coaching come up to me this past summer and tell me how well she was doing and how she almost dropped out of college, but that she remembered how positive I was with her and how I taught her to never quit, so she stayed with it. It was life changing for her and even though I remembered her, I would have never guessed I had made any impact on her at all. Bet there are 10 kids out there that hate me as much as she admires me.

Any issues with my own children, and there have been some, were dealt with with me and my children and the coaches. My kids all have their own personalities and thus have different needs and abilities and expectations. We make it work for everyone.
 
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grange45

Member
How as a parent, did you allow your daughter to participate in this type of climate? How did it get to a point where she hated it? I have 5 kids that all participated in athletics in HS. 3 in Cross Country and 4 Track and Field. I talked to all of them everyday and could pinpoint mood changes. My youngest son has grown up with coach Howard and loves him as a person. His first few years at HS, he did not like coach Howard as a coach. 4 weeks ago, we are talking and he tells me "Coach Howard is such a good coach!" That was on my son being immature and not about Howard. I can tell you though that there are Parents and kids that have not been fans.

I coach track and field and I had a kid tell me the only reason he came out as a senior was because he liked and respected me so much and felt he owed it to me. He then told me he almost quit as a sophomore because he hated me! He hated me bad until he finally figured me out. I could rattle off stories like that all day. I had a girl that I could barely remember coaching come up to me this past summer and tell me how well she was doing and how she almost dropped out of college, but that she remembered how positive I was with her and how I taught her to never quit, so she stayed with it. It was life changing for her and even though I remembered her, I would have never guessed I had made any impact on her at all. Bet there are 10 kids out there that hate me as much as she admires me.

Any issues with my own children, and there have been some, were dealt with with me and my children and the coaches. My kids all have their own personalities and thus have different needs and abilities and expectations. We make it work for everyone.
There are many coaches in this world (including a couple in my school alone) that will simply not listen to the parents or athletes when it comes to criticism or modifying some little things to better accommodate an athlete that wouldn’t even impact the team as a whole. I mentioned it earlier in this thread that there are coaches that have “it’s my program” or have “core values” that look at the glory or success of the program instead of meeting the needs of individual athletes. They are in it more for themselves than the athlete and have the “my way or the highway” mentality.

You can listen but don’t have agree. Listening goes a long way being a coach. Psycho-dad, you obviously listen as a coach by your post.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
No, not really. There are things I won't budge on. We do have "core values". I will put as much time and effort into a kid as that kid will put in. There are kids I can't waste time on if it's to the detriment of others. As a coaching staff, we tend to be very laid back fun loving. We are also highly competitive people by nature and expect the kids to care about the sport and do things a certain way with respect for the sport. We have had to get into kids faces before. Just like I get on my own children at times. I won't lie to you, there are kids and parents that I do not like. I think I do a good job of never letting personal feelings get in the way. We have kids and parents that do not think they need to follow our rules. They are wrong.

We took 2nd in the state in the girls 4x800 one year when coach had to kick a girl off the team a day or so before the District. Our subs were about 12 seconds slower. Second at the state with a girl who had not run the 800 all season. Ran a different girl at the District and Regional. Not one of the other 3 girls complained a bit. They understood. Kids know what is right and wrong and respect when the right thing is done.

There are things I see done at other programs that I would never tolerate. Things a lot of you would not think are that big a deal. I don't care what other programs do, I care what we do.

90% of issues are parent related. Can't even begin to tell you the garbage some parents have pulled.

As coaches, we are experts in what we do. I take it seriously. I put a ton of time into it. I read, go to clinics and study to make myself better every day. I almost do something every day. It's not as much about winning for me anymore, but helping each kid be the best they can be. I work as hard with an 8' pole vaulter as I will a 13' kid. Effort matters more than talent.
 
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