Schartz remains head coach ‘at this time’


Jacob Clanton

Head coach Joe Schartz communicates with senior lineman Conner Lierz during the Blue Valley Northwest game. Schartz’s future with the program is in question after a hazing incident occured on Oct. 25 involving members of the football team.

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

For the time being, Joe Schartz remains the head football coach at Manhattan High.

After a 60-minute executive session Wednesday night, the USD 383 Board of Education chose to take no action concerning Schartz’s job as a teacher and coach.

“The USD 383 Board of Education has a strong policy against hazing,” the board said in a statement through president Darrell Edie. “Hazing is a crime. The board also has policies concerning the supervision of students. Given the situation is under review of the county attorney, and given the serious nature of the allegations, and given a student was injured, it is premature for the board to take action. In the interim, the board directs [superintendent Marvin Wade] to ensure the safety of all students in our educational and extracurricular programs.”

Schartz’s job was in question due to the so-called “birthday beatdown” that occured on Oct. 25. Students and football players were involved in the incident, with two students getting injured.

Though the board did not take action to terminate Schartz at this meeting, the situation is not completely resolved.

“[The board’s statement said that] it is my responsibility as the superintendent to ensure our students are safe,” Wade said, “and that it’s my responsibility to now address this situation. The action the board is taking is clarifying that I, as the superintendent, am the one responsible for addressing the situation, and I understand that, and I accept that responsibility.”

Although employee terminations must be voted on by the board, Wade made it clear that the resolution will be made behind closed doors.

“The decision will not be made at a public meeting,” Wade said. “This is a personal item for me as the superintendent to address with the employee or employees that I need to work with for [a] resolution of this. That’s as much as I’m comfortable saying at this point in time.”

Though he would not give an exact timeline for the resolution of this situation, Wade did say that he wants to get this over with as soon as possible.

“This has drug on too long, too many people in our community have been affected,” Wade said. “It’s driving another wedge in our community that we don’t need, we got to put it to rest … even if people don’t like the answer, you need an answer, and you need to be able to hold somebody accountable, whether it’s me or somebody else, and I accept that responsibility. Now I need a little bit of time for me to work through this issue in a way that I feel is most fair to everybody involved.”

Schartz has posted a winning record in all nine seasons as head coach at Manhattan High, accumulating an 73-19 all-time record at MHS. The 73 wins marks the second-most in team history.

This past season, Schartz guided MHS to the second round of the state playoffs, losing to 6A State runner-up Derby.