Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Makosy out at Damascus?

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It was just last December on a frozen field at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore that Damascus’ football program was triumphant.

Led by 10-year head coach Dan Makosy, the Swarmin’ Hornets were on top of the state football scene after trouncing Hereford, 40-20, to claim the Class 3A title, their third title in a five-year span and second in the last three years.

Now, things have changed.

Damascus athletics director Rob Leonard said Makosy informed the team on Friday that he was resigning his position. Leonard would not comment further, except to say that the school would begin looking at filling the coaching vacancy.

Dr. William G. Beattie, the system-wide director of athletics for Montgomery County Public Schools, also said the school informed his office that Makosy submitted his resignation.

However, Makosy on Monday denied that he resigned.

‘‘I have not handed in any letter, so that is not true,” Makosy said. ‘‘They told me that I was not going to be offered a contract for next season, and that they were going to open the position. I asked to speak to the kids and I told them just what happened, that I did not resign, but the school has opened the job up and they are looking for a new coach. They still have not given me a reason as to why.”

Because Makosy is not a certified, full-time teacher, he is considered an ‘‘emergency coach.” By rule, the school is required to open up his position each year to teachers interested in coaching the team. In the 10 seasons in which he has amassed a record of 102-20 to go along with the three state titles, Makosy has not been replaced.

One reason Makosy has pointed to that may have made the school look to make a change now was a group of parents, mainly of players who are graduating this year, that was unhappy with Makosy’s track record in securing college scholarships for his players — this year, several players took offers from NCAA Division I-AA schools, including quarterback Kyle Frazier and offensive lineman Dino Molina, but no player signed with a I-A program — also pointed to the legal problems Makosy has incurred as a building contractor. Joe Doody, a teacher at Damascus and former assistant coach on Makosy’s staff, filed a case against him in 2007 over a failed construction project.

‘‘They say that the kids aren’t getting scholarships, that I am not a good role model for the kids, they brought up my record as a contractor and my case with Joe Doody,” Makosy said. ‘‘Ninety percent of that has been cleared up, but for the past year and a half, they have been attacking me. It has been an ugly situation.”

The situation has been exacerbated by the rise of Web sites devoted to high school football, including, a message board devoted to Montgomery County football. Often chains veer off the football field into personal lives of coaches. That has vexed Makosy as well.

‘‘My life has been an open book for the last two years,” he said. ‘‘I think the football Web sites are good forums, but they don’t protect the coaches. They protect the people that choose to attack you by letting them use screen names. Not one person has asked for my side of the story. I would like to clear my name.”

The question is, will Makosy be on the Damascus sidelines again next season?

That’s a possibility he sees as ‘‘very remote.”

‘‘It is clear that Damascus is going to go in a new direction,” he said.