The Central Crossing High School softball team is looking for a new coach.

The Central Crossing High School softball team is looking for a new coach.

Rick Wemlinger said he was asked to resign in a meeting Nov. 10 with Zoraba Ross, but according to Wemlinger, he chose not to resign and was fired instead.

"He asked me to resign," Wemlinger said. "I refused. I said my kids never quit on me and I said I'm not quitting on them."

Wemlinger, who had spent 14 years as an assistant at Ready, spent two seasons with the Comets, guiding the program to an 11-13 record in his first season and going 14-10 last year, which tied a program record for wins.

According to Wemlinger, Ross turned him in to the OHSAA for hitting ground balls to a player during a no-contact period last winter. The OHSAA levied sanctions against the softball program, taking away two scrimmages last season and forbidding the Comets to conduct open gyms in January, Wemlinger said.

Wemlinger admitted his part in those violations in a phone interview Nov. 20, but said the reason he was told he was fired was for leaving his players unsupervised during an open-field practice in the fall.

Wemlinger contends he didn't leave the players unattended, that he was fewer than 150 yards away from the field on an all-terrain vehicle taking care of field duties and he said the firing was "vindictive."

"What If I had to go to the restroom," Wemlinger asked. "Do I have to tell the kids and bring them in? We have a situation here where it's ridiculous. I had the best intention for these girls."

Wemlinger also said Ross contended that Wemlinger coached players during the open-field workouts, which were conducted three days a week in the fall. Wemlinger denied doing any coaching, but said he had a parent hitting ground balls to the team while he watched.

As of last Friday, Wemlinger's firing had not been made official by the school board and he reserved hope that a resolution could be reached that would allow him to coach the Comets again.

"This is very upsetting for me," Wemlinger said.

"I want to be there, but there are people who aren't acting in the best interest of the kids."

Reached for comment last Friday, Ross declined to go into detail about the circumstances surrounding Wemlinger's dismissal.

"It wouldn't be proper for me to comment on any of our (human resources) issues for any of our current or former coaches," Ross said. "We are moving in a new direction with our softball team. Our decisions are sound decisions."

Ross said the position was posted internally Nov. 20 and was to remain so for five days. After considering the internal applicants the job can be made available to outside applicants.