Ray Gordon is no longer the softball coach at Oakton after a disagreement this week between Gordon and Oakton Director of Student Activities Pat Full.
Full said Sunday that Gordon resigned after “a difference in opinion between us about who could be hired on his staff.”
Gordon said he was forced out after he sent an e-mail to Full late last week saying he would not make changes to “the way things run in the softball program.”
Gordon said he wanted to hire a new assistant coach, a move Full refused to allow. Gordon also said the two also had broader philosophical differences.
“It boils down to the direction of the way our program is run from hiring assistants to the way I deal with the kids,” Gordon said. “I [wrote] if you don’t like the way I do certain things, then replace me. And he replaced me.”
Gordon said Full did not respond to his e-mail, but instead called him while the coach was on the field running pregame warmups Friday before the Cougars’ season opener against South County, and followed up with a text message indicating the program would move on without him.
Gordon coached the game – a 4-0 loss – and ran a previously scheduled Field Day event Saturday before telling his varsity players he was no longer their coach.
“I always stress to the girls you don’t quit anything, so I don’t want people to think that I quit,” Gordon said. “I was replaced on my terms. Maybe that’s nitpicking, but I threw down the gauntlet and said I wasn’t going to make these changes, and [the administration] took it.”
Full hired Sam Newman – a non-school based Fairfax County Public Schools employee – to replace Gordon on Friday, and Newman will take over Monday when the Cougars play their next game at Broad Run.
“We’re not the ones who made the decision to switch,” Full said. “He resigned so I had no option but to move on so we can finish the season.”
In three full seasons as the head coach at Oakton after several years there as an assistant, Gordon led the Cougars to the Virginia AAA Northern Region tournament each year, including the region semifinals in 2011 and the region final and a state quarterfinal berth last season.
“I’m proud of what I’ve done there,” Gordon said. “I’m just not going to change the way that I am.”