Shawnee track coach says he was fired for running the Boston Marathon
By: Jordann Lucero, Primetime Reporter - bio | email
The former head track and field coach for St. Gregory's University in Shawnee says he's still trying to figure out why he's out of a job. During a meeting to discuss his termination, university members told Matt Aguero he broke the rules by running the Boston Marathon.
"It just seems too ridiculous to believe," Aguero told FOX 25 Thursday.
Aguero said he could not understand why a running coach would be punished for running in his personal time. He said he was never specifically told by the university that he was not allowed to run the marathon.
"That would actually benefit me in my job, giving me credibility with recruits and athletes. I don't see how that's a negative thing and I should be fired for that," he said.
Aguero recorded the meeting with the university officials to discuss the reasons for firing him. In it when Aguero brought up that argument, you can hear school's athletic director, Jeff Potter tell Aguero, "I think that whole comment is pretty self-serving and I don't think it's a positive. I don't think there's any correlation."
"I do feel like a competitive nature, personal competitiveness, can take away the energy and commitment to a program," Potter said.
The main reason seems to be the marathon, though other reasons are given as well, such as a lack of communication, and the coach's willingness to allow an athlete from France to go home for several weeks upon his grandfather's death.
The Boston Marathon was on Monday, April 15- a date considered part of the Catholic university's Easter holiday. Aguero said he does not understand why a faculty member would have to report what he is doing on his own time or get permission to do it.
In the audio recording, Potter said likes his coaches to discuss with him when they are working.
Aguero was terminated at the end of April. He said his official paperwork now lists his release from contract as "terminated without cause."
St. Gregory's released this statement:
"It is not our policy to specifically discuss personnel issues. Please be advised that Mr. Aguero was released under the terms and conditions of his contract with the University. Any personnel decisions of the University are not made lightly."
Potter offered no comment on this story.
In the audio recording, Potter did tell Aguero he considered other courses of action before deciding on termination.
Before starting at St. Gregory's in 2012, Aguero coached at Cameron University for seven years, where he said running marathons was encouraged and applauded.