A local hall of fame hoops coach has been fired after allegedly cursing at a high school game last week.
CNY Central has confirmed with the Liverpool School District that longtime varsity basketball coach Jerry Wilcox was removed from his position Thursday night. Published reports say Wilcox used profanity and was charged with a technical foul during Liverpool TMs 69-58 loss to West Genesee on December 16.
District Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns would not discuss specifics of the incident Friday morning with CNY Central reporter Jim Kenyon, but did say that the district has a ~zero tolerance TM policy, which prohibits the use of profanity by teachers and coaches. "Football field, softball diamond, the basketball court, it's a classroom. We teach things in that classroom so we want our coaches, and our teachers to always be a model for what we want our kids to be." Johns said.
Friday night was the first game in more than a decade, where you didn't see Wilcox coaching on the sidelines. People in the stands had mix reactions to the news that he was fired. "In the heat of the game, these things happen. It was innocent enough," said Bob Emery.
"We don't like to see that language, or hear it. But it does happen in sports. But to fire a coach for just one swear word, seems a bit extreme. Maybe it's a precedent, maybe he has done it before, maybe he's been warned. But it's just too bad for everybody, the school, the players and him," said parent Michael Lavner.
"I think there is a limit to swearing, and there's a place for it. It happens. And to what degree with Coach Wilcox I don't know. But I just hope the punishment fit the crime so to speak," said Dan Patrella.
Wilcox could not be reached for comment. He coached the Warriors for 11 years, and is a member of both the Syracuse Sports and New York State Basketball Coaches Halls of Fame.
Junior varsity coach Matt Jacob will take over for Wilcox for the rest of the season. After that, the district says it will accept applications for the position.