Written Tuesday September 26th at 2:00 PM
This was a move that none of us thought would happen.
Stoney Creek girls basketball coach Kellen James has stepped down coaching the program.
James sighted parent involvement as the reason he stepped down. He wrote to Principal Brian Shelson talking about his decision. “Dear Principal Shelson, I’m writing to formally announce my resignation from my position as the Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach at Stoney Creek High School. This decision has not been taken lightly and comes after careful consideration of the circumstances surrounding my coaching tenure. I have had the privilege of working with dedicated student athletes, a supportive coaching staff, and many outstanding individuals within the school community during my time as the basketball coach. It has been an enriching experience that has allowed me to develop as a coach and mentor to these young women. I’m proud of the progress we made together both on and off the court. However it is with a heavy heart that I must tender my resignation due to ongoing challenges relating to parent involvement. It has become increasingly apparent that external pressures and excessive involvement from parents have made it difficult to maintain a positive and productive coaching environment. While I understand and appreciate the passion that parents have for their children’s success, this level of interference has reached a point where it’s affecting my ability to effectively lead the program. I firmly believe that student-athletes deserve a supportive and respectful environment in which they can grow, learn, and enjoy their sports experience. It is essential for their personal and athletic development. Given the current situation, I believe stepping down as the head coach is in the best interest of the team and the school. I want to express my gratitude to our Athletic Director Mr. (Brian) Anderson, the coaching staff, and the student-athletes for their unwavering support and dedication. I will always cherish the memories and the relationships I’ve formed during my time here. I will work diligently during my notice period to ensure a smooth transition and to assist in finding a suitable replacement. If there is anything in specific you require during this transition please do not hesitate to let me know. Thank you once again for the opportunity to lead the basketball program at Stoney Creek. I wish the team, the school, and the athletes nothing but success in the future. I hope that in time the challenges I faced with parental involvement can be resolved to create a more positive and nurturing environment for the student athletes” James wrote.
James has been with the Cougars for a long while. He was an assistant under then coach Brad Crighton (coaching at Orchard Lake St. Marys) and his junior varsity coach with a ton of success. James took over the program in 2015 and has coached some great athletes including Gabby Yurik, Mia Carson, Megan Solek, Sydney LaPrarie, among others who have came out of the Stoney Creek program.
James went 97-59 in his eight years with the program and 46-11 in the last three years.
It will be very interesting to see who takes over this season. Stoney Creek has Sarah LaPrarie, Emily Flynn, Merrick Schlawbach, Taylor Fulkerson, and Izzy Ivezaj coming back. The Cougars are in the Red with West Bloomfield, Lake Orion, Rochester, Clarkston, and Oxford. They have a tough district with Adams, Romeo, Rochester, and Utica Eisenhower despite hosting the district.
Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.
James resignation letter