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Bullied coaches quit in northeast Iowa district

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:31 p.m. CST

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Bullying from some players’ parents and other critics of the program have driven two girls basketball coaches away from their coaching jobs at district schools in the northeast Iowa city of Independence.

Assistant coach Rob Ratchford said Monday that he and head varsity coach Rod Conrad had endured too many menacing or irate phone calls.

Ratchford said he knows that criticism comes with coaching.

“You read things on social media and you try to ignore those kinds of things: People approaching you on game day and phone calls on game day, and phone calls after the game,” he told Cedar Rapids television station KCRG.

But Ratchford said he couldn’t ignore the suggestions of violence.

“There were threats made, you know, about wanting to fight and stuff like that,” Ratchford told Waterloo television station KWWL.

Ratchford and head varsity coach Conrad decided they’d had enough, so they announced their resignations on Friday.