To the Editor:
Contrary to the statement by Wilton High School athletic director Chris McDougal implying that [girls soccer coach] Freya Coombe resigned because she felt that she was better off moving on, the truth is Freya resigned because he asked her to do so, claiming that [it was] better for her reputation and best for the program.
Was this because she wasn’t an effective coach? No – she took a team that lost nearly a dozen seniors from the year before and led them to the FCIAC playoffs and CIAC Class LL quarterfinals. Was this because of some mysterious “safety, mental and emotional health” issues? No. These were investigated by the AD and the WHS principal and none of these were ever validated. Regardless, Freya had to endure being overseen at every game either by the AD or by another Wilton school staff member because of the constant pressure from parents. She received only positive feedback that she was doing a good job following these observations. So, she’s an effective coach, the players are in a safe environment and they had a successful season. Why then force the coach out?
The debacle all stems from the leadership change at the end of last season. The “retiring” coach misinformed the team that his assistant would be the new head coach when, in fact, the interview process was not completed. Unfortunately, once the interview process was conducted, it was Freya who was successfully awarded the position and not the one the team was expecting. There was also the issue of the captaincy re-vote. These two changes were not popular for certain parties who were vocal in their opinion that she should be removed.
So, is that really what we’re left with after you eliminate all the unsubstantiated drama? Sadly, yes. We are left with a handful of parents who, instead of teaching their kids to deal with change and adversity, have gone after an innocent woman and tried to smear her reputation. And lest you think this was limited to just Freya, take a look at the turnover rate for coaches of this team.
Freya, I’m ashamed and embarrassed by the way we’ve treated you.