This afternoon the Marcellus High School boys and girls cross country squads are running in a home dual meet with Solvay. The setting is picturesque Central New York autumn. Absent from the scene, their long time Hall of Fame running coach Oscar Jensen. Jensen was terminated Monday night in the middle of the season for reasons that have not been released by the school district. The coach of 53 years also won't say what conflict led to the sudden dismissal. â??It was disappointing to hear I was not going to be reappointed for next year," said Jensen. "But, then this abrupt situation, being terminated immediately, it hit me. It hit me hard."
Marcellus School Superintendent Dr. Craig Tice said it is the school's policy not to comment on personnel matters. "While unfortunate, this does not take away from his past accomplishments and contributions to the program and helping student athletes in Marcellus," said Tice.
Up until late Monday night Jensen was led to believe he would finish this season as cross country coach. Then suddenly he was out. "Iâ??m a person that has feelings," said Jensen. "I feel badly for the student-athletes I have built a relationship with.â??
In an exclusive interview with CNYCentral Jensen said, â??I just told the kids I want you to do the best for yourself. Iâ??ll be there in spirit. You know what the program is. Do the right thing. Donâ??t be distracted anymore. Stay the course.â??â??
That is the same sentiment shared by interim coach Ted McCrone who normally coaches track in the spring. "Just trying to make the transition as easy as possible for the kids," said McCrone.
On CNYCentral.com today former Liverpool High School state running champion Mike Fadil wrote: "I ran for Oscar more than 30 years ago. He was also my physics teacher. I was a successful high school, college, and post collegiate runner and after Liverpool HS went on and completed an Ivy League education. My siblings, my parents, and I all continue to keep in touch with Oscar even though none of us live in CNY anymore. Outside of my immediate family, Oscar is one of the three most influential people in my life."