The principal of Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School in Arlington said yesterday he will not renew the contracts of three baseball coaches who were suspended two weeks ago because they allowed several players to drink beer during a team trip.
Al Burch said he informed Head Coach John Koons Jr., president and owner of JKJ Chevrolet at Tysons Corner, and assistants Dick Bosman, former pitcher for the Washington Senators, and Donnie Malan, by phone and letter that they will not be rehired next year.
"After an investigation of the matter, the O'Connell administration decided not to renew Mr. Koons and his assistants' services," Burch said. "We felt there was a serious infraction of a school rule and this was necessary." School rules prohibit drinking by students while on a school trip.
Burch said he reprimanded the students involved but took no disciplinary action against them because the beer drinking was sanctioned by the coaches.
"That's the end of it," Burch said. "Mr. Koons and his staff fulfilled their contract and since it is a yearly thing, I can't say they were fired. They just won't be rehired."
Koons said he was somewhat disappointed with Burch's decision but was not certain he and his staff would have returned as coaches next spring.
"We hadn't decided if we were going to apply for the job next year anyway, so how could we be fired?" asked Koons, who coached the Knights to a 21-3 record and the Metro Conference and Virginia Catholic championships. "We were mainly volunteers and coached for fun because we loved working with the kids. I just didn't like the way it was handled.
"I still maintain it wasn't a school trip. There were about 40 kids and adults there and I paid all the expenses. The school didn't pay for anything . . . . "
The incident occurred in April when Koons took his team to Williamsburg for a game and an outing at Busch Gardens. Koons said the only players who drank beer were 18 years old and had parental consent.