After posting a 70 percent winning percentage over 17 winning seasons, Hoover’s Mia Thomas was not asked back as head volleyball coach.
The high school program was considered the laughing-stock of the league before Thomas took over in 1999. Her goal was to build a winning program from the ground up, which is something that was accomplished, going 278-115 (.707) in the past 17 seasons.
In the 2016 season the Vikings went 18-6 overall, including a 10-2 runner-up finish in the Federal League. The record is a five-match improvement over the past season. Sometimes numbers are just not enough to secure a coaching job.
Despite a positive evaluation from Athletic Director Tim Walker, first-year North Canton Superintendent Jeff Wendorf would not elaborate on Thomas not being rehired and would not recommend her hiring.
Thomas received six “Excellent” ratings and 26 “Satisfactory” ratings without a single unsatisfactory mark. The evaluation form featured four ratings – Excellent, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory and Non-applicable.
Walker wrote that Thomas “administrated the program well and advocates to promote volleyball,” in the comments section. Also stating that Thomas effectively communicated with the athletic department and her continuing efforts to promote academics and effective communication with athletes and parents. Finally, remarking “Build on the success of this season; continue efforts to demonstrate attitudes and actions that inspire confidence.”
A month after the review was completed, Thomas found out that she would be relieved of her duties.
The superintendent recommends the rehire of personnel to the board. Thomas is struggling with Wendorf’s decision.
“I’ve been head coach for 17 years. Never had a losing record. A teacher in the district. Coach of the year a few times. I asked him, ‘Are you going to recommend me?’ He said ‘No. Your program has a negative culture.'”
Thomas continued to ask what Wendorf’s reasoning was on the not rehiring, to which he replied, “There were a lot of things.” Thomas stated that he wasn’t able to tell her one reason.