By Chip Burch and Elisabeth Waldon
Daily News staff writers
LAKEVIEW — Those who follow Lakeview girls basketball saw a different varsity coach on the sideline last week.
That’s because Corey Kohler, who coached the first game of the season in a win over Evart on Nov. 27, resigned on Dec. 4. His resignation was accepted by the Lakeview Community Schools Board of Education at Monday night’s meeting.
Superintendent Kyle Hamlin elaborated on Kohler’s resignation today. He said he had had a discussion with Kohler last summer about keeping a relationship professional between Kohler and a female athlete. During that discussion, Hamlin set perimeters with Kohler about future expectations.
Kohler recently sent the same female athlete a text message. The incident was brought to Hamlin’s attention on Dec. 3.
“I was made aware of a recent communication by coach Kohler which I felt did not comply with the specific expectations I had established regarding such communications,” Hamlin said. “In this era of social media, email and texting, I believe it is important to have parameters to assure that all contact and communications are beyond reproach. I lost confidence in coach Kohler to follow the rules, and I will not place our students or athletes with anyone in whom I do not have complete confidence. I asked for and coach Kohler agreed to submit his resignation for the good of the program.”
Hamlin said there was nothing to indicate specific inappropriate conduct by Kohler at this time.
“We don’t have any evidence or record of misconduct,” Hamlin said.
Kohler is also a physical education teacher at Greenville Middle School. He has been on a leave of absence from the Greenville school district since before the Lakeview investigation began, according to Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Pete Haines.
“We have neither observed or been presented with any complaints of unprofessional conduct by Mr. Kohler,” Haines said.
Kohler did not return a message from The Daily News seeking comment.
Kohler had been the Lakeview varsity girls basketball coach for five years. He compiled a 74-40 record in those five years, including the Nov. 27 win over Evart.
Junior varsity coach Dave King took over for Kohler on Dec. 4 for the Lakeview Wildcats’ 56-41 win over Montabella.
“I think coach King will do a nice job,” said Lakeview Athletic Director Tom Wilcox. “He had been the JV coach for a while and he knows the girls. My opinion is it’s going to be a positive outlook for the rest of the season.”
Hamlin agreed with Wilcox about King.
“Coach King is familiar with our current varsity team after working with them on the junior varsity level,” Hamlin said. “We look forward to a seamless transition and a successful season for our girls’ team.”
Lakeview’s assistant principal and athletic director stepped down in February 2009 after allegedly texting students about issues unrelated to school matters. Kyle Hondorp submitted his retirement to the school board in his first year as assistant principal and athletic director. An investigation by the school district did not reveal any criminal conduct.
In unrelated Lakeview athletic news, Wilcox said Lakeview was canceling its cheer program for the rest of the year. Lakeview started with five cheerleaders, but lost two before the first boys home basketball game of the season last Friday. When a third became ineligible, the program was scrapped.
“We were down to just two girls who were eligible,” Wilcox said. “I talked with the coach and we decided it wasn’t worth continuing for the rest of the year.”
Cheer coach Isabelle Williams said canceling the program was “sad, but things happen. Life happens.”