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Gary Lee, McNamara girls’ basketball coach, steps down citing parental pressure

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Third-year McNamara girls’ basketball Coach Gary Lee, whose Mustangs upset then-No. 2 St. John’s last year but fell to a 3-23 record this season with a young team, has stepped down, citing parental pressure.

Lee said he made the decision about two weeks ago and will meet with parents and players next week to formally announce his resignation.

McNamara posted overall and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference records of 19-10, 12-6; 17-12, 8-10; and 3-23, 2-16 under Lee, who took over in October 2010 when Rod Hairston was dismissed weeks before the start of what would have been his second season.

The Mustangs had six freshmen on the varsity this season. Their two league wins were four-point victories over Holy Cross and O’Connell.

The other seven WCAC teams swept McNamara, including Ireton, which last year as the bottom seed in the league tournament stunned the Mustangs in a first-round victory.

Lee said that he felt he had the backing of the school administration — he graduated from McNamara in 1985 — but said he felt it was best to resign.

“I would have loved to have stayed with the program and seen it out, because I know what’s going to happen next year,” Lee said Wednesday afternoon, predicting a top-four league finish for McNamara. “It was a lot of little internal things. It gets to a point where your character is questioned by parents and it got to a point where [remaining as coach] didn’t add up to keep listening to crazy, stupid stuff. It’s not fair to the administration and myself and my family.

“I’m emotional about it because the seven freshmen I brought in believe in me and believe in the school and really did everything I asked them to do. In a certain way, I kind of let them down by making this decision. It just doesn’t make sense some of the rough things these parents say and do.”

Briana DuBose, a first-team all-WCAC pick and a Virginia Commonwealth signee, was the Mustangs’ top player this season. Forward Jasmin Grimes was the only other senior on the team.

McNamara Athletic Director Tony Johnson could not immediately be reached for comment.

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