Mattawan Basketball Coach Fired After 27 Years

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8000206MATTAWAN, Mich.– For nearly three decades, the Mattawan boys’ varsity basketball team has been led by Coach Dan Hoff. But his run on the court has come to an end after administrators fired him Friday after some allegations were brought to the schools attention.

Assistant Superintendent Bill Disch said they’re “taking the basketball program in a new direction” and next year they will have a new varsity basketball coach. Dan Hoff will still hold his position as an English and French teacher at the High School though.

When word spread of him no longer being the coach, support for Hoff started to roll in. A Facebook page called “I Support Dan Hoff” was created and by Monday evening more than 2,000 had liked it. It was filled with comments from those who played for Hoff or had him as a teacher. One after another they talked about how Hoff was a mentor, a great coach and just someone who left a lasting impression on so many young lives in the Mattawan community.

Disch said “this was a very difficult decision to make and we made it with the best interest of the district in mind.” He goes on to say “he is a good person there’s no disputing that but to go in the details at this point we’re just not free to do that.”

Disch says this isn’t the first time questions have been raised, “back in 1993 there were some issues raised about Mr. Hoff’s coaching style and the effect on the program.”

Coach Greg Saunders though, just doesn’t see it that way. Saunders played under Hoff in 1989 and for the past 17 years has been a coach with the district; currently he’s the freshman basketball coach.

“I’ve observed as his (Hoff’s) assistant that after every practice he’ll get the guys together and kind of recap and  say hey this is why we said this and this is why we’re doing this, he takes his responsibly to make the players the best they can be very seriously.”

Coach Saunders says the administration was made aware of some concerns that Hoff wasn’t caring for his players and was overly aggressive, but he says he’s never seen anything wrong “I have never seen him do anything that was inappropriate towards a player or student, referee or opposing coach.”

Coach Saunders says Hoff poured his heart and soul into the basketball program at Mattawan, starting youth basketball programs, summer camps and leagues. He says Hoff had a kind of dedication like nobody else and things really will never be the same.

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20 comments

  • Barb Scott Burkhart

    This is such a travesty, Dan Hoff was my daughters favorite teacher, and I got to know him thru my involvement with The Mattawan Athletic Boosters. He loves his students and his players, and it is horrible that few parents had to whine. I hope they are satisfied now, as the rest of us are stunned and in pain for such an incredible teacher and Coach!!!

  • Charles

    to be honest…we need to put some blame on the administration for not believing in their coach, employee. This is not a one sided moment of blame.

  • Roger

    All Mattawan coaches need to be on notice…turn a few kids or parents angry at you and you are fired. The administration in Mattawan is a joke!

  • kevin

    What did he do wrong, push the kids to work hard to obtain their goals?? Shame on him we can't have any teacher stressing hard work to succeed. Doesn't he realize this is America, you don't earn success it's given to you. This stuff sickens me, you parent's are weak and raising weak children, good for you!!!!!

  • Margaret Florip

    Dan, You have been a good role model for the kids, you will always be a good coach and kds will remember you. Too bad the end result is so negative. You will always be held in high praise from most of your players. Cliff always said "Good Guys always come in last"
    Keep your head high, and continue to be a good role model. We are with you and pray for strenght for you and your family at this time.
    Your cousin, Margaret Ellen

  • Earl

    Let me guess..Hoff had "old fashion" values, he instilled patriotism and hard work.
    Its the same all over…the "whinny" parents are no doubt consider this "progress"

  • Joe

    Why would anybody want to be a teacher or coach today with all the spoiled selfish whiney parents who think their kids are all headed for professional and college sports It's a thankless job and can't see whay any coach could get a good nights sleep getting all the critizism, complaints, phone calls, and nasty comments from idiots who breed spoiled rug rats.

  • Chad

    I love how so many people can make comments about this situation without knowing ANY of the details. The administration would not have made a change without just cause. Something happened…. They aren't releasing the details of it and if anything that protects Hoff's perfect image in your eyes, but there had to be something or else they wouldn't have fired him. And if it details come out that this minority of children and parents stood up for themselves and went against the grain and fought all the bad publicity for what they believe is right, then I have a lot of respect for them.

    • Doug J.

      If he was a "Problem" he wouldn't be teaching anymore, either! Sounds like some kid got spoken harshly to, or yelled at, or benched – then cried to mommy – who put an end to it. No way in HHHH I would coach a school team these days. Hope it all works out for this coach, and for the Mattawan community. If this is all baseless – – i can only hope the people that caused it are ostracized by their neighbors and friends in the worst of ways – humility that is, NOT any actual harm!!!! Got to clarify that these days too. Hope they find new coach that can handle diapers and baby powder – sounds like that is what the school now wants.

  • Mike

    You mean like you? Look… I was warned nearly 30 years ago this was coming. Parents want effortless success for their children and now we have a White House that promotes these ideals. This country is going to get everything it deserves.

    • Chad

      I am not commenting on the man or situation at all because I don't know the facts or details. I would think that the school board is there to protect the reputation of the school and the children that attend it. They were presented the facts and made the call. Who are we to judge them or the people involved if we don't really know anything other than the guy was fired.

  • An educator

    My guess is he did nothing wrong…other than go 8-14. This is what "sport" in America is all about.
    It might be time to separate it from "education". Hold your slings and arrows…I just said "might".

  • Laura

    Chad…I suspect that the administration had no just cause….if they did coach hoff would have resigned quietly and not have waited to be fired. The fact that the administration won't go into detail only proves their incompetence…..insomuch as winning is concerned if we are going to measure a winning record as a symbol of success then I think the athletic director should be fired since there have been multiple losing seasons across many sports at mattawan I've been told…

  • Charles

    Yeah, we need to pamper the little crybabies even more, so that society continues to decline into a bunch of lazy, stupid people.

    Way to go….yeah, lets pamper everyone, and give them all that self-entitlement esteem society so desperately needs.

  • Parent

    Not shocked a bit. As a parent of a former Mattawan basketball player, he either crossed the line or came awfully close too many times.

  • anonymous

    There is a huge difference between pushing kids to work harder and physically assaulting players. Just because you don’t know the facts doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. The parents have a duty to remove anyone endangering kids, regardless of how “popular” the adult is. Don’t be so quick to judge the parents as they aren’t pampering their children, just truly protecting them. I am so sorry the few parents are being targeted for speaking up. Shame on the Mattawan community for being so harsh to these wonderful parents. Obviously, the coach wasn’t fired for the terrible record otherwise he’d have been fired years ago. Teachers/coaches are so protected these days that it is hard to get rid of the bad ones…. that is why it took so long, not because the admin didn’t have just cause. Just be thankful it wasn’t your kid that was not abused (and no, I don’t believe yelling or making kids work hard is abuse!).

  • Barb

    Since you are writing on here anonymously, you must be one of the whinny parents or whinny brats that brought this all on. Grow a spine and use your name if you are going to comment on this site.