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Administrators tell coach" resign or be fired"

April 13, 2011

BLACKFOOT — Blackfoot High School Basketball Coach Jonathan Packer said he was informed this week by the administration at the school that they will not seek to renew his coaching contract next year. Packer coaches boys' varsity basketball.
Packer said he met with Ben Speelmon, the man hired in January to serve as an educational consultant in the absence of Principal Blaine McInelly, and Athletic Director Brian Flake Tuesday afternoon.
He said in that meeting Speelmon asked him to resign from his coaching position. The other option was that the administration would recommend to the Blackfoot School Board not to renew his coaching contract next year.
"I'm not resigning," Packer said.
According to board policy 448.1, employees are not entitled to automatic reappointment to a coaching position for the next year or season. If the board does not reissue a supplemental contract to a certificated employee, the board will give written notice to the employee describing reasons for the decision not to reissue the contract.
If the Blackfoot School Board does not reissue Packer's contract, he has the right to an informal review where he can explain why he disagrees with the board's decision.
Superintendent Scott Crane said he could not comment specifically about Packer's contract, but said no decision has been made.
"The board has made no decision concerning anyone's extra-curricular contracts," Crane said.
Speelmon also would not comment.
Packer said he believes this pending action will not affect his position as an English teacher at Blackfoot High School. He also said he is proud of the students he coached this past season.


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April 19, 2011 by editor, 4 years 5 weeks ago
Comment: 374

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Bronco fan

April 16, 2011 by Bronco, 4 years 5 weeks ago
Comment: 371

I have known JP for over 20 years. We have played b ball together since we were kids. He is talented, dedicated, and he LOVES the game. He is just what Blackfoot needs. It is not his fault that he coached some of the worst behaved kids that ever walked on to our court.(Regardless of what their mommies think) I know most of the kids in question personally. JP did not raise these kids, he is coaching them. When you are a member of the team YOU represent the town, the school, and your family. JP, you can polish a turd as hard as you want, but in the end it is still a turd! You tried. These kids chose their actions. JP did not place the weed in their hands. He did not assist in the hazings. At the end of the day the kids were guilty, not JP. If they need babysat, they should travel with their parents. Its not JP's fault. I am sorry that he is taking so much heat for this, it is too severe. I for one would like to say, "Great job coach, you deserve to keep your job!"

SAY NO to coaching and TEACHING

April 16, 2011 by Brokeblackfootc..., 4 years 5 weeks ago
Comment: 369

Whoa whoa Packer didn't even ride the bus home? He did not supervise the students that he is paid extra to supervise? I know he knows what has been happening the past several months because he told fish tales on the stand. The Superintendent was quoted in the paper saying there was going to be more supervision in this area. I guess Packer plays by his own rules with intentional disregard to safety and wellbeing of the students that he is responsible. This does not display actions of a teacher but more like a cowboy. He thinks he is the rule maker and disregards policy and procedure. School District this cowboy is a loaded gun whose actions prove he thinks he is above the law. Get him completely out of the school district before he harms more students by playing his own rules. Help him pack his horse and saddle up and go away! Wake up Board!

consider this

April 16, 2011 by mom of athlete, 4 years 5 weeks ago
Comment: 368

Has anyone ever thought that this may not be the reason his contract is not being renewed? Could it be his inability to follow school procedures as demonstrated over a year ago with his handling of students who tested positive for drugs? What other policies has he not been following?


April 14, 2011 by truthsayer (not verified), 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 365

Your post is ridiculous. Not only Jonathan, but his own younger brother was on every bus and in every locker room during that season. Either the alleged incidents didn't happen, or Jonathan should have known fully about them. You would have to be a debased idiot to think otherwise. I believe he knows it didn't happen and only propagated the notion that it did out of misguided self-preservation (sheer idiocy).


April 14, 2011 by justice, 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 364

Packer needs to go!! He is an 8th grade coach at best. He seemed confused and lacked the ability to get his team to work together. I also know that with all of the hazing stuff that was claimed, he still went home with his wife after a loss to Rigby instead of riding the bus home and watching over the kids he is in charge of. I know the kids coming up and just ask them and they will tell you they don't want Packer to coach them.

Dog and Pony show.

April 14, 2011 by Smith, 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 363

Packer always blames someone else. Packer will yell fire to anyone that will listen. BlackfootAnonymous, you want everyone to just put their head in the sand, just like you. Can't happen. Will not happen. You can always move. 1076tree you must be related to state something that foolish. Facts are: Bad record, no ajustments at halftime, blaming everyone but himself for bad coaching the past two years. Last year, the team didn't win a conference game with a team that was picked to win the conference by the other coaches and media. This year, same record. Yes, he has only coached at the vasity level for two years, but he has coached this senior group ever since they were freshmen. No improvements. Blackfoot has never looked this bad in basketball in the last 25 years and you know it. WAKE UP!

This takes the cake.

April 14, 2011 by Broncos, 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 362

I cannot take it anymore. I should not be surprised by this and not sure why I am. Maybe it is because I have had to "Fire" several people in my life and it is hard. " Resign or be Fired" is simply a way to allow a person to leave with dignity when they really deserve to be let go. Coach Packer is not smart enough to accept an easy way out. Not only that is so far in denial that he was the one who reported this to the media. I just saw News Channel 8 report that he contacted them about this. Kudos to Blackfoot administration for giving him a graceful way out to save face. Shame on you again Mr. Packer for giving Blackfoot Sports yet another black eye in the media. You have almost single handedly taken away all credibility Bronco fans have left. I guess we should all be used to the drama and mudslinging in your brief tenure as Head Coach. Lets review facts.

#1 You undermined Coach Humphries to get his job and then left him out in the cold so you could win a state championship. To top that all off you got the job in the first place. Somehow you were chosen over a candidate that was more qualified and had several state championships under his belt. May have been because you had a group coming in you had a brother on and had coached for years. Nobody else could get as much out of them as you could. Turned out nobody could have gotten any less out of a talented group of kids.
# 2 You did not win a single conference game last year with the same group of kids who took third in State the prior year. Great job if I were living anywhere but Blackfoot. How did you pull that off. Not one conference win with a group of kids you had coached since 5th grade.
#3 You threw kids under the bus by turning them in. As a result of this it cost Blackfoot School District a lot of money. It was the only Morale correct thing you did as coach. Ironic it also cost tax payers money for mistakes made in the process.
#4 You were ahead at halftime in most games you played. To bad halftime is only half the game. Other coaches simply adjusted you didnt and got beat almost every game you coached. Your a genius in you own mind.
#5 This year you were suspended and fill in coaches won as many games as you did the rest of the season and only coached 3 games. You played the martyr as your trying to do again at all of our expense.
#6 Somewhere between 25 and 30 thousand dollars were donated to the Basketball Program. It wasnt a bonus Phil Jackson for your superior record. In fact I am not sure why you would need that much money. Kids paid 200.00 for uniforms. You could not produce any records, documents,receipts, for any of it. Many accusations have been made as too where that money went. Why don't you set record straight and show records for the money received and the money that was spent. In these economic times Blackfoot School District may have a hard time getting donations if coaches continue to show up donning new Nike Apparel every night at their expense. Please tell us how 30 thousand dollars was spent on high school basketball team in Southeast Idaho. I doubt it went to refs or you coulda won at least one conference game last year.
#7 Our community was divided by allegations of things happening on your bus with kids you were coaching and in charge of. Your pledge as a coach was to protect and provide a safe environment for the kids. It should have been a clue that all the younger kids would not even go to back of the bus and would have sat on your lap. Should have been a Red Flag at some point in time. Just common sense I guess.
#8 You let news media believe that this all happened during football season. Night after night I watched the news show kids from football program on news. Never did I see anything about basketball program. It all came out in the wash too late. Those images will all last for Blackfoot football program which has been the one shining spot in Blackfoot athletics programs.
#9 None of this media attention would have even happened and court cases would not have happened had you simply done your job. Your horrible losing record is one thing. You took what should have been State Champion team or at least contender and lost every single conference game you played. WOW.. On top of that you allowed the things to happen on the bus that happened. When I played if we lost the bus better be very quiet. Ironic that the kids ended up pleading guilty to disturbing the peace. You surely should have been able to control that scene. When you get home have them dress down and run for a while. Amazing how quiet the next bus ride after a loss would have been. I am guessing there would be nobody guilty of disturbing the peace.
#10 Administrators have had enough and give you a chance to bow out with a graceful exit. This was an act of class on administrators part for sure. You dont deserve to be the coach and have all but ruined the program and kids involved in it. If you coach next year none of the kids will return to play for you. That would be sad. They have simply had enough to quit sport they love because of you. You are either not very smart or in denial and need psychiatric evaluation for going to the press. Maybe a little of both. Either way we have all had enough and I know there are many out there who commend the decision made by administrators. Not counting the few family and friends you have invited to write in to paper on your behalf. Havent you done enough damage here in Blackfoot.....I hope so we cannot take much more.

Grab Some Popcorn!

April 14, 2011 by rekcamsrekcap, 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 361

I can't wait to see how JP masterfully handles this situation! blkftanonymous, you have no clue what this is about but soon will because Smith is "in the know" and JP does not take sound advice.

Packer Out

April 14, 2011 by Brokeblackfootc..., 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 360

It is about time Blackfoot Admin got rid of Packer. All of the alleged hazing took place under his direct supervision responsibility in the locker room and bus. Packer just go away quietly.

Two seasons is not enough time to judge

April 14, 2011 by 1076tree, 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 359

I hope Blackfoot administration reconsiders this move. I believe for the first time since Coach Shelly retired Blackfoot Basketball has a coach that is moving the program in a positve direction. Coach Packer was hired to take over a struggling program and change takes time. Coach Krzyzewski was 10-17 his second season, I am sure Duke fans are happy they allowed him time to build his program. Locally we allowed Coach Buck years of losing before finding their current stride. Maybe we owe Coach Packer the same opportunity!


April 15, 2011 by Broncos, 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 366

You may want to check into a rehab facility. Blackfoot administration should not reconsider this move. You dont give someone an option to resign before being fired without a lot of time and consideration to start with. You offer this as a graceful way out when you have enough facts together to fire someone. Administration offered Packer a way out. What does Packer do ? He alerts the news media that he is being asked to resign or be fired. How dumb can one person be. Alert CNN and ESPN now. The great coach Packer has been asked to resign. You say and I quote " I believe for the first time since Coach Shelly retired BBBall has a coach moving the program in a positive direction". ARE YOU SERIOUS ? Have you been living under a rock for his 2 years as head coach ? If so just go down and read the news of what has happened to Program since he took over... Blackfoot Basketball has been in the news alright. All over the news as a matter of fact. When you get done reading the articles regarding Blackfoot Basketball see if you can make that statement again. If this is positive I would hate to see negative. Could not get much worse actually. Except for the final ending which is being played out now. In the media once again for negative and drama. Blackfoot Basketball was doing fine until he took over. End of Coach Humphries career he took group to State and came close to playing in championship game. Coach Packer takes over same team and they dont even win a conference game. Positive I dont think so but thats just me. Lets not even talk about the record. Lets just read all the articles and see community divided by actions that happened while Mr Positive was in charge. I posted 10 facts you can read and maybe help you out. 2 I didnt point out were that Blackfoot lost to Snake River 3 of 4 times under Coach Positive. Fans are dwindling very fast. Wont be long and the only fans will be friends and family of the players who HAVE to go watch. Only problem is if he stays even those people wont be there because kids will not play for him. He has really ruined 3 groups of kids now. Sophomore class lost one game as freshman. Junior class won every year when younger. Last years Senior class should have won a state championship. Oh what some would not give to have young Coach Shelly instead of Mr Packer. Where would the program be ? Oh how some would love to have Coach Humphries back. Just think that one decision to hire Coach Packer set off a chain of events Blackfoot Sports and community will take a long time to recover from. So I ask you which is it. Do you live under a Rock or are you smoking crack ? Either way get help. In this day and age not hard to get information via computer, satellite, television,radio and newspaper. There are also rehab clinics to help you with your addictions. I hope you can come into reality world we all live in soon. I wish you a sincere good luck with all that.


April 14, 2011 by BlackfootAnonymous, 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 358

I am a former Blackfoot High student athlete (didn't play basketball) and for months now I have been ashamed to be a resident of Blackfoot, Idaho. The community has showed me that when the going gets rough fingers get pointed at the most vulnerable target. The athletes have made it pretty clear through their actions that none of this was Packer's fault. Packer wasn't the one missing free throws. He wasn't the one smoking marijuana and getting suspended from the team. And he wasn't the one assaulting players on the bus. He had the misfortune of coaching an uninspired team filled with a few rotten apples. Anyone calling for this man to resign is trying to save his own skin.

Time for Packer to go.

April 14, 2011 by Smith, 4 years 6 weeks ago
Comment: 357

I'm glad the Blackfoot Administration is tired of all the drama that is coach packer. Your record speaks for itself. Packer do the right thing and save your wife and family from all the stress and pain you will cause them. Just Go.

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