Commentary

Commentary: Why did CHHS let Perkins go?

CommentaryJuly 14, 2014 

Shane Turner

Like many others, I was deeply saddened when I found out that Lason Perkins wouldn't be retained as the head basketball coach at Chapel Hill High School.

As a former player and team captain of his, the first thing that came to my mind when I found out that he would not be coaching next season was “Why?”

After the 2013-14 season ended, each returning player started thinking about the summer and the next season.

No one ever imagined that Coach Perkins was in danger of losing his position as head coach.

The returning players were looking forward to the elite basketball camps that he had arranged for them to attend. They were looking forward to playing in the Chapel Hill High School summer league with him as their coach.

In addition, they were dreaming about the possibility of winning the conference regular-season championship again next season, which would be the team’s fifth one in a row –something that has never been done before in the history of Chapel Hill basketball. (We won our fourth in a row last season also another first.)

That brings us to that magic word again: “Why?”

Why did the idea of Coach Perkins being unable to return never even cross the players’ minds? The answer is because he has had a history of success, and they love him.

There simply was no reason to get rid of Coach Perkins.

(The reason for letting him go still has not been disclosed.)

Coach Perkins has worked with a Chapel Hill High team for the past six years (five as an assistant and one as the interim head coach this past season).

He arrived in Chapel Hill along with fellow basketball coaches Tod Morgan, Vic England and Gus Fraley. Together, the four of them brought the Chapel Hill basketball program up out of the dirt to become one of the best programs in North Carolina.

Over Coach Perkins’ six years at Chapel Hill High he helped lead six teams to a record of 114 wins and 42 losses a winning average of 73 percent.

As previous head coach Tod Morgan frequently said, “When it comes to basketball, I play checkers, and Coach Perkins over here plays chess.”

I knew Coach Perkins was destined for a head coaching job somewhere. At the beginning of last season I was surprised that he received the title “Interim Head Coach.”

In my opinion, the “interim” should never have been added.

When this whole situation started, I thought that, given the facts, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board would have no reason to hire a new coach.

Along with many coaches, players, friends and family, I sent the school board and Chapel Hill High’s principal emails and letters about how this was a big mistake and why Coach Perkins needed to stay.

Again, that magic word: “Why?”

Even after so many people spoke out and advocated for Coach Perkins, why would the school board vote in favor of hiring a new coach with a losing record over the past two seasons?

And why can’t they at least comment or give a reason as to why they didn’t retain Coach Perkins?

I haven’t heard a single thing about why this decision was made.

Public officials can't just make decisions like this and not give a reason! If they can take away great coaches that easily, they should at least tell us why.

I know the players of Chapel Hill will try just as hard with the new coach, and I still expect great things from the program.

I wish the new coach the best of luck.

He has huge shoes to fill.

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