CRETE | Dozens of residents were in the Crete-Monee auditorium to support athletic director Gene Cahan at the District 201 unified board meeting Monday night.
The board is considering reassigning Cahan and bringing in another athletic director. Coaches, parents and student athletes spoke on his behalf.
"We feel like there are people focused on personal agendas," softball coach Sue Giannantonio said. "Personal vendettas should not influence the professional decision of the status of an employee's job or career, especially one as dedicated to his position."
Giannantonio said she was there representing Crete-Monee coaches.
"He is a problem-solver," she said. "His leadership gives us the capability to be leaders, as well."
Those in attendance gave Giannantonio a standing ovation when she was finished speaking.
Cahan, who has coached Warriors baseball for the past 25 seasons, added the role of athletic director in 2005. The varsity baseball team stepped to the podium as a group to share its collective feelings.
"He's been the main motivation in keeping us in baseball and keeping good attitudes outside of baseball," senior Kyle Bumpass said. "We all were planning on coming back in four years and having the chance to say thank you (to Cahan)."
Bumpass said he and his teammates came to the meeting on their own and weren't asked to by Cahan or anyone else.
"(Cahan) has given us the opportunity to give back to athletic groups, because you know the board can only do so much," Warrior Booster Club president Steve Johnson said. "He's been a great asset to us."
Johnson said that when he became booster club president seven years ago, Cahan's help was vital to him reaching his goals for the group.
"As a parent of four boys, three of which have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Cahan, I am hoping that my fourth will, as well," Sandy Walters said. "I feel that his termination as A.D. would be harsh and would not benefit Crete-Monee."
Board President Tom Hysell said he would not discuss personnel matters publicly.