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.”