Rob Gross said he was terminated on Wednesday as Bowman Academy's football coach. Gross was 10-11 in two years as the Eagles head coach.Second-year
Gross said in an email to The Times on Thursday morning that his three-year contract with Bowman was terminated early and that he would be seeking legal action.
Bowman athletic director Marvin Rea had a different perspective on the situation.
"We met for several hours (on Wednesday)," Rea said. "I thought we had a mutual understanding. I was wrong about that. I have no comments about this."
Bowman did set a school-record for wins this fall with a 6-5 record.
Gross graduated from Portage in 1993. He coached for several years in Hobart's lower levels.
Gross sent a prepared statement to The Times on Thursday evening, where he defended what he did while coaching at Bowman.
He pointed out that he was hired in June 2011, which was late for starting the rebuilding of a program. Gross said he instituted a weight-lifting program, which was a first at the school.
The Eagles began participating in 7-on-7 competitions, another first. He started Thursday-night dinners to build team unity. Bowman went 4-6 his first season and dropped its defensive scoring average from 47.7 to 39.6.
The following summer, Cornelius Strickland was selected to the North All-Star team, another first for the program, even though an injury kept Strickland out of the game.
Last summer Bowman went to the Northern Illinois 7-on-7 camp from which LaRon Golden eventually received a scholarship offer. The junior verbally committed this fall to NIU.
Bowman set a school record for wins last season and lowered the points allowed number to 29.3.
He finished his statement with some strong final thoughts.
"There is no valid reason for my termination," Gross said. "I had a three-year contract and Mr. Rea terminated that early and I will be pursuing legal action against him and Bowman Academy."