GIRLS BASKETBALL

H-F District 233 board terminates teaching contract of girls basketball coach

2014-04-15T22:30:00Z 2014-04-16T09:15:08Z H-F District 233 board terminates teaching contract of girls basketball coachMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
April 15, 2014 10:30 pm  • 

FLOSSMOOR | Before a packed and vocal board meeting, the Homewood-Flossmoor District 233 school board voted Tuesday night to not renew the teaching contract of Tony Smith as a health and driver's education teacher.

The seven-member board voted 4-3 to not renew the contract of Smith and two other non-tenured teachers.

While he was not officially dismissed as girls basketball coach, board president Richard Lites said after the meeting: "If you are not teaching (in the district), you are not coaching."

There is a possibility that Smith could be brought back, Lites said.

Smith came to H-F after winning four state titles at Bolingbrook. This year's H-F team was 21-2 and ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 4A. Smith was suspended indefinitely from coaching by the Illinois High School Association on Feb. 19 and the team was dropped from the state tournament and had to forfeit its regular-season games.

The agency found H-F in violation of bylaws that limit the athletic season and open gym limitations. The IHSA later put the boys basketball program on probation for lesser violations of preseason open gym rules. An IHSA spokesman said Tuesday the organization will have more information on the H-F situation at its April 22 board meeting.

Smith will remain a teacher for the rest of the school year.

Smith did not return calls from The Times seeking comment.

Several players and parents spoke on Smith's behalf. Senior Lexi Smith, who will play at Wright State, said Smith took the program to the next level.

"He didn't make us the best in the state, he made us one of the best in the nation," Smith said. "It kind of (stinks) that this is what we get. To have our season end the way it did. It really broke our hearts."

One parent questioned superintendent Dr. Von Mansfield's comments in February. "You said you don't care about state."

Mansfield replied: "I said, 'I didn't care about (winning) state. I care about these girls."

In other action, the board approved the hiring of Dan Vosnos as H-F athletic director. He starts July 1.

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