DuVal, one of the most successful girls' basketball teams in the area, is having trouble keeping a coach. Dick Bird, who took over when Sandy Sprinkle resigned to coach at Marymount College, quit last week after a difference of opinion with the school's principal, Wilbert Hawkins.

"We had some differences in philosophy," said Bird, who teaches and coaches baseball at Laurel High School. "No one in the school (DuVal) wanted the job, and I saw it advertised on a flier; so I decided to take it. But it was a very difficult situation. I started out with 14 girls and, a few weeks later, I had only seven. Sometimes I would have one or two for practice, sometimes none would show up. It was one excuse after another.

"There isn't a senior on the team, and they should easily win a fourth state title (the team has won three in the last four years). There's a lot of talent on the team but there has to be some discipline," Bird said. "But if he (Hawkins) wants me to put someone off the team, they might just as well forfeit the season. It's hard to put someone off when you're down to seven people."

Bird quit on the day the Tigers were scheduled to play Gwynn Park. Beverly Bigham, who assisted Sprinkle, took over as coach that afternoon but made it clear it was her first and last game as head coach.

The Tigers now have their third coach of the season. Mark Wascavage, a vocational development teacher at DuVal, has agreed to take over the job for the remainder of the year.