A controversy surrounding the resignation of Sturgis’ head coach Bill Keim, has the town fired up.
As a way of showing their support for him, dozens packed Monday’s school board meeting, many of them wearing bright orange shirts that read “Support Coach Keim” with various quotes of his on the back.
"We're very community oriented and love our team and love our coach.” Sturgis parent Matt Perry said.
After a tough loss on Friday, Sept. 14, Coach Keim wanted to come up with a way for the team to realize what it meant to be a Trojan.
"He took the “S” off the helmet as a motivational tool, most of the players understood it, got it, they got the concept that we need to work harder, we need to work as a team." Perry added. Many parents later learning that they would earn them back as a team.
While there are various stories of how this sat with the administration, following the next game on Sept. 21, the team got some shocking news.
“Expecting our son to come home happy and elated after their win against Battle Creek Central, we witnessed a confused and deeply hurt child.” Sturgis parent Liz Kinsey said in the board meeting. She went on to say, "The coach that Luke respected, listened to, had worked three years to be with, had been ripped away from him in the middle of the season."
Coach Keim resigned from his head coaching position, though some feel he was bullied into it.
"I would take exception to the fact that Coach Keim was bullied into resignation and I will leave it at that." Superintendent Dr. Thomas Langdon said.
The community started a Facebook page, rallying around Keim.
"The protocol was followed in this situation and I want to say as administration, these things are never easy and they are never a situation that you want to get yourself into.” Dr. Langdon added.
Eventually, Coach Keim was brought back on board as assistant coach.
Keim did not want to go on camera, but passed this message on to the community, saying, “I am grateful for the community support and am looking forward to finishing the year and making a run at the playoffs.”
He continued by saying, “His hope is that the school system and the athletic department are better and stronger and that will be the positive for this.”