Brian Albert has resigned as Glenwood Community High School football coach.
Albert submitted his resignation Wednesday, April 11, to Glenwood Activities Director Scott Arkfeld. He steps down from the football head coaching position he has held since 2003 along with his other assistant coaching duties on the Glenwood girls basketball team and the boys track team, but he will remain on as physical education teacher at the school.
Albert is scheduled to head coach the south squad in the Iowa Shrine Bowl Football Classic July 21.
Albert was 40-77 in two stints as Glenwood’s football coach spanning 13 seasons. He returned to head the Glenwood program in 2003 after stops at Wartburg College and Marshalltown High School. He previously coached the Rams from 1985 to 1988, taking the school to the state playoffs in 1988. He returned the Rams to the state playoffs in 2009.
The Glenwood Board of Directors held a special meeting Monday night to accept Albert’s resignation.
In Albert’s resignation letter dated April 11 and addressed to Arkfeld, the coach refers to a post-season meeting concerning improving the football program that neither he nor his assistants were invited to attend. “Any meeting to ‘improve’ the football program that does not include the head coach or any of the assistants is a meeting where the actual intent is clear,” Albert wrote in the letter.
Holding a meeting concerning football and leaving out the head coach and an administration effectively attempting to micromanage his program and coaching responsibilities was too much, Albert said, to remain as Glenwood’s football coach.
“They wanted me to make changes I don’t agree with,” Albert said. “I don’t feel there’s any high school coach in the state of Iowa that would comply with them. And I felt if I’m not qualified for the coaching job I am most qualified for in coaching, then I don’t feel comfortable coaching in any of their programs, if I’m not good enough to continue in the basis I was as football coach.”
Albert said he did not know the date of the meeting he references in his letter or when it took place, but he was confident it took place some time after the end of the girls basketball season in March. In his last evaluation with Arkfeld, Albert said the changes was told needed to be made consisted of reassigning position coaching assignments, changing practice routines and his head coaching duties.
“It was like me telling you how to run your newspaper and how you want something done even though you’ve had success doing it other ways,” Albert said. “This has nothing to do with the kids. We’ve had good times and bad times, winning and losing. When we won three years ago and got in the playoffs, my evaluations were fine. And we haven’t changed much since then.”
When reached on Monday, Arkfeld said he could not recall a meeting concerning the football program Albert was not in attendance and that his suggestions for improving the program were part of an overall plan of directives to improve the football program after winning a combined three games over the last two seasons.
“The coach was included (in all meetings) and we worked with him a couple of years ago, collaboratively, trying to find ways to improve the program,” Arkfeld said. “No improvement was made and so it became a more of a directive from the school standpoint to the head coach.”
“If you’re asking me if there was a meeting without him (Albert), I don’t know of anything we tried to keep secret from him or any meeting he should have been included on.”
Albert goes on in his letter to reference his last two coaching evaluations being “more than satisfactory, yet when success is measured in game scores any support is gone.”
Arkfeld said coaching evaluations are confidential but he denies game scores or wins and losses factored in his overall evaluation of Albert or any coach.
“I think that is how he states it but I do not agree with that,” Arkfeld said. “When I say ‘success’ in any athletic program I mean having a positive experience competing in every game, having athletes out that are capable and should be out (for that sport), kids wanting to play year after year instead of not playing when you’re a senior even though you’re a starter as a junior. That’s being successful. You do all those things, you don’t have to worry about wins and losses.
“Our boys basketball program didn’t have as many wins this season as the past five years. Yet I thought they were successful as a whole.”
In May 2009, Albert survived a high-profile fight to keep his job following Arkfeld’s recommendation the coach not be retained. Albert’s subsequent appeal to the school board that saw nearly 20 parents, coaches and former players testify on his behalf, ended in a 2-2 tie that resulted in the coach keeping his job.
Albert doesn’t doubt he will coach somewhere again.
“Win or lose I enjoy working with the kids,” Albert said. “I have a very strong passion to coach and teach and still do. The way it’s going, it’s better for me to leave as far as the kids are concerned. The same thing will just probably be a continuation.”
Arkfeld declined to discuss he and Albert’s working relationship.
The activities director had been scheduled to meet with Albert prior to the coach submitting his resignation. That meeting never took place. Arkfeld has not met with Albert since and said he does not plan to meet with the coach. Arkfeld said he was surprised by Albert’s resignation.
“I was very surprised,” Arkfeld said. “I was meeting with him on Wednesday to go over the plan, more direct plan we had put in place, and the timeline, and I guess he chose it wasn’t worth his effort.
“I’m disappointed it had to come down to a resignation versus working with the administration and being as successful as possible. But that’s the way it goes.”
Arkfeld said the process to fill the head football coach position is already underway.
“We’ve had very high interest,” said Arkfeld. “I’ve gotten emails and text messages from Nebraska and Iowa, current head coaches, and we are setting up interviews now. We want to move pretty fast. We want to get a coach in place, get the weight program established and set up our camps. We’ll move quick.”