BROOKSVILLE - One day after his team was knocked out of the boys basketball playoffs, Steve Thompson was told to leave Springstead's campus.
Thompson, 55, had his teaching contract terminated and has returned to Tennessee. Thompson was released within the 97-day probationary period, school records show. His start date at Springstead was Oct. 5.
Springstead principal Susan Duval declined to comment specifically on why Thompson was let go, but said the probationary period served its purpose.
"During that time, if things aren't working out the way an administrator would hopes, the employee would be, for lack of a better word, terminated," Duval said. We take a lot of pride in our hiring decisions because it is so critical to the success of our school and our students. We don't get it right every time, and that's aggravating to me when it happens. We want to make sure we get people who can connect with kids and get them excited about education. This is just a situation where there was a decision I felt needed to be made and I made it."
Asked if he had been given a reason for his termination, Thompson said, "No, they gave me no clue. To be honest I'm not real sure why. We took that team to the playoffs. ...The biggest thing I think was they thought I was planning to retire. It's just one of those things. There's nothing I can do about it."
Springstead was Thompson's second stop on the North Suncoast. He had accepted the boys basketball head coaching position last summer at Gulf, but the school announced he "...made the decision to forgo his opportunity at GHS to attend to personal matters back home in Louisville, Ky."
Thompson later told the Times he had resigned from Gulf because he could not obtain a full-time teaching position. He taught physical education at Springstead.
The Eagles finished 6-18 this season.
As for his future plans?
"Right now I'm going to sit back," Thompson said. "I have two or three options I'm looking at. ...I don't want any malice toward them."
Times staff writer Tony Marrero contributed to this report.