It’s looking more and more likely that Kingston wrestling coach Bobby Reece will remain on administrative leave into the postseason.
A North Kitsap School District spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that Reece, who was put on leave after his team’s match against Olympic on Jan. 15., is still not coaching the team. Reece said last week that assistant Tim Larson is acting as the team’s coach in his absence. I assume Larson is going to coach the team at Saturday’s sub-district meet in Port Angeles, but need to get confirmation on that.
As for Reece’s future with the team, I can only speculate. Reece met with school officials to discuss his job status last Friday. Reece said Tuesday he was told by school officials that they would contact him when a decision was made about his future with the team. Reece said he wasn’t told when a decision would be made.
With the postseason about the start, I can only assume (this is pure speculation) that the school district will keep Reece on leave for the remainder of the season (the state tournament is Feb. 15-16). I just don’t see how they can decide to bring a coach back in the middle of the postseason after he’s been on leave for multiple weeks. I would see that as a disruption.
As for the reasons why Reece was put on leave, that is something no one has been willing to discuss on the record. School officials rarely, if ever, talk about personnel issues. Scott Krone, the assigning secretary for the Peninsula Wrestling Officials Association, whose officials worked the Kingston/Olympic match, hasn’t returned messages. Two sources who were at the match on Jan. 15 also did not want to comment on the record about what they witnessed that night. Reece himself has limited his comments as he waits for a decision on his future. He also has two kids (junior Bobby Reece III and freshman Peyton Reece) on the team, so he’s trying to not be a distraction for them.
On a personal note, I’ve always found coach Reece to be a valuable source. He’s been as helpful as any wrestling coach I’ve known in 12 years of covering the sport and is willing to pick up the phone at all hours. He made it a point earlier this season when I went up to Kingston for a story on girls wrestling to tell his kids that he wanted reporters to feel welcome in his room. That’s something I don’t often hear.
Barring a decision being made on Reece’s future, I’m not sure they is more ground I can cover here. It’s wait and see at this point.