SOLON — The first day of practice was the last day at Solon High School for Kurt Trout.
Saying he did not want to be a distraction to the school’s sky’s-the-limit volleyball team, Trout gave his resignation Monday.
“I had a meeting with the principal (Nathan Wear) and (athletics director Keith McSweeney), and told them it had come to the point in which I had become too much of a distraction,” Trout said Monday night. “If the team is dealing with a distraction, they’re not focused on what they need to do.
“If I’m the distraction, it’s best to get out of the way.”
McSweeney e-mailed the following statement Monday night:
“Coach Trout has resigned his position as head varsity volleyball coach for the Solon Community School District, effective immediately. The District thanks Coach Trout for his service. The District will post the position with the goal of identifying an interim head coach in the next week (pending Board approval). The District is looking forward to a very successful volleyball season.”
McSweeney returned a phone call, saying he couldn’t comment further on Trout’s decision, but said that assistants Scott Prochaska, Shannon Miller, Kate Gordon, Dolfi Kalm and Peter Gustin would run practice Tuesday.
“We want to have an official coach in place within the next week,” McSweeney said.
According to a July 31 report in The Solon Economist, Trout was the subject of an investigation after allegations were made that he had made inappropriate comments to a former player during her two seasons playing for the Spartans.
Lori McKinnie said at the July 9 school board meeting that her daughter, now graduated, “received undue and inappropriate comments from Coach Trout.”
The family filed a written formal complaint to superintendent Sam Miller and the school board.
The incidents were investigated, and, according to the Economist report, Trout was cleared of any wrongdoing after no physical or sexual abuse was found.
Monday’s news marks the second time Trout has abruptly left a program at an inopportune time. He stepped down at Iowa City Regina just prior to the 2003 postseason series. In that case, he said that he had “a difference of opinion” with the Regina administration, but would not elaborate.
Trout leaves behind a team that finished 32-2 last season and returns six starters, including all-staters Kelsey Cave and Kelsey Hinrichs. Last year, the Spartans made their first state-tournament appearance in school history.
“On one hand, this tears my heart out,” Trout said. “On the other hand, it’s all about the girls. They have high goals, and I want them to get all they can out of this season.”
Trout compiled a 196-92 record in seven years at Solon, and is 262-119 in 11 years overall.