Meetings to address nonrenewal of Colfax coaches' contracts

Administration offers 'no comment' as to why
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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COLFAX — A pair of parent groups – both offering support for two Colfax High varsity coaches who have not been offered contracts to return to their posts next season – will meet Tuesday evening to try and drum up backing to have both coaches retained in their current positions. Eight-year veteran girls varsity basketball coach Dan Hicks and five-year varsity wrestling coach Jerry Sinkey were not offered coaching positions at Colfax High for next year. Colfax High Principal Rick Spears was out ill on Monday but Colfax High athletic director Rob Hitchcock confirmed that the school is currently advertising “in-house” and districtwide to fill the two positions. “Yes, we are currently, as required by law, offering the positions throughout the district,” said Hitchcock. “Other than that we have no comment.” A group, which includes parents, players and former players supporting Hicks, have a spot on the agenda for the Placer Union High School District’s Board of Trustees meeting set for Tuesday night. Hicks, who is a teacher at Colfax Elementary School and coached Colfax High’s varsity boys team from 1989 to 1993, has coached the girls program since the 2002 season. During that time Hicks’ teams have qualified for the playoffs in all eight seasons and have reached the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV section championship game four times, winning twice. This past season’s team, with only one senior starter, posted a record of 17-11 and finished third in the Pioneer Valley League. However, according to sources close to the situation, the move to replace Hicks most likely derived from a parent group which approached the Colfax High administration following a starter quitting the team back in December. Hicks was unavailable for comment on Monday. In the Sinkey wrestling situation, Colfax High wrestling parent Joe Petersen and other concerned parents have called for a meeting Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Sierra Vista Community Center in Colfax for supporters of the embattled Colfax High mat coach. “We had a very successful crab feed fundraiser on Saturday night and we as a group of parents decided that we are going to support Jerry,” said Petersen on Monday. “We have a lot of support in this town with different service groups. It’s a shame what they’re trying to do to get him out.” Sinkey, a 20-year-plus coaching veteran, came under fire following the 2006 season and was let go from his position. However, following a big surge of support from parents and wrestlers which drew heavy regional television, newspaper and radio coverage, the school board overturned Colfax High’s original decision. In the season following the firing fiasco, Sinkey guided the Falcons to their first-ever league wrestling championship. “Anyone with ideas or support is invited to attend on Tuesday,” said Petersen. “This community needs to retain a quality coach like Jerry.” For more information on the wrestling meeting, contact Petersen at (530) 878-4439.