Details emerge about the incidents leading up to Pasco coach Ricky Giles' resignation

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Mon. April 23, 2012 | Matt Baker | Email

Details emerge about the incidents leading up to Pasco coach Ricky Giles' resignation

Longtime Pasco baseball coach Ricky Giles threatened players on two separate occasions before resigning last month, according to documents made public Monday by Pasco County Schools.

The first incident took place in the dugout during a Feb. 23 game against Mitchell, according to 86 pages of documents released to the Tampa Bay Times following an open-records request.

When Giles called for a bunt, the player said he wasn’t bunting for “no f------ body,” according to notes from the district’s supervisor of employee relations, Betsy Kuhn.

“You need to get out of here before you get hurt,” Giles told the player. Giles told Kuhn that he meant the player should stop before someone else hurt him or before he was kicked off the team again.

A parent, Marcie Johnson, said Giles was “visibly very angry” at the time.

In a letter to the district, that player’s father said his son made a mistake. The father said his family had an “excellent conversation” with Giles a few days later and moved on.

Giles, 58, has not returned calls seeking comment since the school began its investigation.

Almost three weeks after the Mitchell game, another argument ensued when Giles removed a pitcher against Wesley Chapel. Giles told the district that the player called him a “fat m----- ------,” but in his statement, the pitcher said Giles thought he said something when he did not.

The pitcher said “f--- you” to his coach as he walked off the mound. The player — whose name is redacted — threw his hat and shirt on the ground and told Giles he could have his stuff, according to the documents.

In their written statements, seven players said Giles threatened to punch the player in his “f----- face” if he spoke like that again.

According to Giles’ account, he told the player that “(I) ought to hit you in the mouth for disrespecting me.”

The next day, Giles met with Pasco principal Pat Reedy and went to district athletic director Phil Bell to apologize for letting the district down, Bell wrote in an email. Giles said he would never “put his hands on a kid.”

“He hopes for a second chance and in his words, ‘He doesn’t want to go out this way,’ ” Bell wrote.

Some parents emailed the district to support Giles. Dale Maggard said there have been very few coaches who have done as much for student-athletes as Giles, and Trish Stancil said the players were out of control. “They are the most uncoachable team that has ever been through Pasco High,” Stancil wrote.

Others expressed concern over Giles’ language.

“Giles has mentally abused these children so bad, they don’t even desire to play ball anymore,” an anonymous parent wrote.

All 15 player surveys said Giles used “inappropriate language.” One student wrote that he heard Giles use “every curse word known to man, usually directed at someone.”

Giles denied using the F-word to students, according to the documents.

On March 22, Giles wrote that he was “appealing the decision of the Pasco County School Board on the matter of the Pasco High School Boy’s Varsity Baseball Program in asking for my resignation.” A week later, he formally resigned his supplemental position as head baseball coach.

Giles, a district employee since 1976 and the head coach for 17 years, was still employed in student discipline when he was suspended last month pending an investigation. He had not been previously reprimanded, according to the district, and all of the employee evaluations provided were satisfactory.

His 2009 evaluation notes that “Coach is a dedicated employee who is an excellent role model for our students.”

Matt Baker can be reached at mbaker@tampabay.com

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