As of late, there has been a trend of coaches leaving Burlingame High School teams. In the past few years the boys’ soccer, girls’ lacrosse, girls’ basketball, girls’ softball, girls’ water polo, and swim teams have all lost coaches. Such frequent departures warrant a deeper look into what it is like to be a coach at BHS.
Varsity head coaches at our school make $4,330 per season and JV head coaches make $3,897, according to the San Mateo Union High School District.
In comparison to other jobs these wages are considerably low, but they are intended to be supplementary wages, meaning that they are to accompany the wages of a regular job.
According to full time math teacher and former assistant swim coach Traci Kreppel, “you don’t coach for the money. You could make more money baby sitting.”
Her decision to take time off from coaching the swim team was not about the low wages, but about the difficulty she had balancing her two jobs.
“I enjoy it and like being with the kids, I just get tired and can’t do it anymore,” Kreppel said.
As it turns out, most of the coaches who have left BHS have done so for personal or logistical reasons, not because of the money.
Justin Sasano, a senior on the varsity swim team, reflected, “We got a new coach the beginning of my junior year. The last coach had left because his wife wanted to pursue nursing and there were no jobs available in the area so they had to move.”
“The last [girls’ lacrosse] coach Beth Sarwar was an incredibly amazing coach,” stated Junior lacrosse player Gracie Kober, “however she was a parent to two of our players and being a mom and a coach is extremely difficult. In addition, she worked as a nurse at night so that she could coach during the day, but this year she switched to working day shifts so she could no longer coach us.”
With the losses of these coaches, come considerable adjustments have been made within the teams.
Kober explains that “the new coach is not necessarily familiar with our playing styles and it is difficult to prove to someone else our skill levels. We are also unfamiliar with how [John Saucedo] coaches and the way he runs the team.”
Junior Brice Redmond, a member of the boys’ soccer teams said, “the team got a new coach right at the beginning of the regular season. The challenges that came with that were from adjusting to the different coaching style. Right now the team is just working hard to stay in the league and our losing record might be attributed to getting a new coach, but coach Jakob is doing the best he can.”
Redmond remains hopeful for the future of his team, “The team’s progress may have been affected, but we are adjusting to coach Jakob and that is why we are having a more positive second half of our season.”