ILH rules against curtailing coaching restrictions

Maryknoll boys basketball coach Kelly Grant got to coach his son, Payton, who is now a senior, during the high school season. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

At their postseason meetings, the ILH basketball and volleyball coaches voted to request the elimination of coaching restrictions.

The ILH athletic directors, however, voted to keep the restrictions in place.

By rule, ILH coaches are not allowed to coach players from their varsity teams during offseason periods, excluding summer. There is one exception: Varsity coaches who coach a club team can coach up to three of their varsity players on the club team.

The state’s other leagues — BIIF, KIF, MIL and OIA — used to have similar a rule, but within the last few years voted to discard it.

“We think we should be able to coach our own players in the offseason,” said one ILH basketball coach who did not want to be identified but who said the coaches’ votes in the two sports were nearly unanimous. “For instance, Kelly Grant at Maryknoll could not coach his own son (Payton Grant) in the offseason. That limited their father-son time. Other coaches around the state can coach who they want, so we feel we should be able to do it as well.”

Mid-Pacific athletic director Scott Wagner gave perspective on the league’s decision.

“We encourage multi-sport athletes as a league,” he said. “Too many athletes are specializing in a sport 365 days a year. We feel their bodies and minds need a break. We feel it benefits them to play another sport and to have a variety of coaches. We feel like we’re putting the kids first.”


  1. Rebel March 16, 2019 2:38 pm

    Interesting comment from MP’s Wagner, because their some of their programs push the letter of the law. Baseball and basketball come to my mind. Especially, baseball, many players know if they play other sports it will affect their playing time.

  2. Brd Dog March 16, 2019 5:11 pm

    Some athletic administrators are incompetent. Thank goodness not many feel the same as this AD. The last I remember we still live in a free country. Why should anyone restrict a kid from participating, enjoying, and benefiting from the most qualified person who can teach them? Why? It makes no sense. It is like depriving a math student of his math teacher by concocting restrictive periods. Of course it is nice to see athletes play more than one sport if that’s what they want to do, but it is not cool to legislate away their opportunities to do so against their free will. There’s got to be a name for people who think they know what is good for others.

  3. Good Story March 16, 2019 7:35 pm

    @Brd Dog
    It just doesn’t do it Justice in English …but round these parts we call them “fiapoko”. As your friendly neighborhood Samoan to explain.

  4. Lee Lamb March 17, 2019 6:40 pm

    The rationale Wagner uses doesn’t hold up. In fact, one has nothing to do with the other. This policy doesn’t prevent kids from playing all year round. They can easily go to any club and play year round.

    The only logical explanation is that they don’t want coaches demanding that their student-athletes play for them year round. But that should be solved at the school level. If you don’t want a coach demanding that student-athletes play for them all year, find a different coach. A coach whose values line up with the school’s.

    Finally, the decision to play year round should be up to the kids and parents. Families don’t need the school system telling them how to parent.

    Stop regulating what doesn’t need to be regulated.

  5. Rich March 18, 2019 1:37 pm

    15-20+ years ago I could kind of understand the restrictions. Nowadays it really makes no sense as I’ve encountered students that have the desire to one day play college ball. I had a former player of mine who was 10 years old and she told me she wants to play college volleyball. If she wants to play for her upcoming high school coach then so be it. I coach at the intermediate level and I’m glad I don’t have any restrictions to the kids that I coach. I build my school program based on the kids who play for me in club ball. They may not all play for me but at least they get inspired to play and it helps build up my program.

  6. Kekoa March 19, 2019 2:43 pm

    Club coaches are terrible! They only worry about winning at all cost, they teach no defense concepts and they tell the parents what they want to hear so they can get their money. The ILH coaches have to continuously break bad habits when we get the players back.

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