More than 25 Prince George's County varsity athletic coaches were among the school employes terminated after this year as a result of budget cuts mandated by the school board last week. Included among the terminations, effective immediately, were four head football and two head boys basketball coaches.
Since last week, when school officials notified 827 employes they would be laid off July 1, a union of some nonteaching employes has voted to give back raises and other benefits in order to save its members' jobs. The board voted last night to accept the move, thereby saving the jobs of 312 workers. The total number still scheduled to be fired is now 515.
Many of the coaches terminated either were driver education or physical education instructors. The driver education program, which had approximately 34 instructors, was eliminated completely as part of a $31 million cutback in the county schools forced by limitations on the property tax contained in the county charter.
Some teachers who received termination notices are certified to teach other subjects and could be rehired as teachers in the fall. Others have seniority over teachers in other schools and could be transferred.
The board also voted to cut about 40 percent of the $1 million budget allotted for athletics for 1982-83, a move that seems certain to mean the elimination of at least six varsity sports in the county in two years.
"These cuts will do irrevocable damage to athletics in the county," said Larry Layman, the athletic director and football coach at Crossland. "This is in addition to the other coaches who will be out when they cut some sports to save money. Where am I going to find two qualified and successful people to replace my basketball coaches?"
Crossland lost Earl Hawkins and Pat Harris, the boys and girls basketball coaches. Both had taught physical education in the county for eight years. Layman said he also lost Lindsay Thomas, the girls outdoor track coach and assistant football coach; Greg Fenner, the baseball coach, and Ed Rosenbloom, the wrestling coach and assistant football coach.
"These people are going to be tough to replace," Layman said. "And you can't even begin to start looking because you don't know what else is going to happpen yet."
The football coaches out of teaching jobs are Northwestern's Fulton Gross, Bladensburg's Jim Caruso, Parkdale's Jim DiAngelo and Potomac's Charlie Sullivan. Gross and Caruso have seniority and probably will be transferred. Both could be rehired to coach football at their old schools.
DiAngelo, a physical education teacher, recently was named football coach at Parkdale. Sullivan, who taught driver education 15 years, was the football and baseball coach at Potomac.
"Yes, I'm bitter. It seems we worked all those years for nothing," Sullivan said. "It's a shame this has to happen to so many people. I have to support a family and, right now, I have to run around and look for work. It appears there isn't too much emphasis put on coaching. You just hope something will happen, get an 11th-hour reprieve or something."
Other coaches terminated include the Suitland basketball coach, Ed McDonald, who had 18 years in the system; High Point's soccer coach, Billy Burke; Eleanor Roosevelt's track coach, Charlie Brown, and Central's wrestling coach, Bob Smith.
Even some coaches untouched by the termination notices are worried.
"I've got 15 years as a teacher, but I could still get bumped (to another school)," said Ralph Paden, football coach at Fairmont Heights. "And if I got bumped, there's no way I would keep coaching. I'm also the golf coach here, but you can bet they'll drop that program to save money."
Ed Bowie, Central athletic director and coach of the successful girls track teams, is worried the county will drop both cross country and indoor track. "I've been here 11 years and I think my teaching job is safe," he said. "I'm just worried about the track programs."
Tom Paskalides, the county athletic director, still is hoping some money will be found to save some of the teaching positions and sports expected to be eliminated.