Lake Oswego High dismisses boys basketball coach
Mark Shoff is relieved of his duties following an alleged physical altercation with player
Lake Oswego High Schools Mark Shoff has been removed from his role as head coach of the schools varsity boys basketball team following an incident last week at the Les Schwab Invitational Tournament.
Shoff, who has helmed the varsity program for nearly 20 years, was dismissed from his role with the team following an alleged physical altercation with a player during Lake Oswegos second-round game Dec. 28 against Montverde Academy of Florida.
A video of the game, reportedly sent to the school district by a parent, appears to show Shoff placing his hands on a player before turning to talk to his team during a time out. District officials would not confirm Monday that the video prompted Shoffs dismissal; he coached the remainder of the game against Montverde and two additional games in the tournament.
Mark Shoff will not be coaching the LOHS boys basketball team for the remainder of the season, following an investigation of concerns raised at last weeks Les Schwab Invitational Tournament, Nancy Duin, the districts director of communications, said in an official statement issued over the weekend.
On Monday, Duin said that Lake Oswego resident Doug Kintzinger had been named the teams interim coach. Kintzinger met with assistant coaches and senior players on Sunday night and began working with the varsity team Monday afternoon in preparation for Tuesdays game against Jesuit High School, Duin said.
I dont worry about the past, Kintzinger said after Tuesdays game. Im focused on the future of this team and improving in every practice and every game.
Jesuit rallied to defeat the Lakers 76-70 in Kintzingers first game as head coach, despite 28 points from senior guard Jazz Johnson. Immediately after the game, players gathered on the court to take a new team photo.
It was business as usual, senior Zach Parker said. Were just focusing on playing basketball right now.
Kintzinger was an assistant coach at Oregon Institute of Technology from 1984 to 2004. He played and coached professional basketball in Iceland, and was an assistant high school coach for three seasons while attending graduate school at the University of Iowa. He is currently president of IMS Capital Management, Inc.; his two sons are both graduates of Lake Oswego High School.
Parent Andrew Johnson said he wonders why the administration chose to dismiss Shoff from his duties now after all these years has meant a lot to him and to his son, Jazz a point guard who scored more than two-thirds of the team's points against Montverde; though he didn't close the gap against opponents, he did turn heads with his performance.
"I just really feel like a guy of his stature to have him leave in such a manner that hurts because he was really for the kids," Andrew Johnson said, "and all he wanted you to do was really put your best foot forward, a value that seems to be gone with this generation of our kids."
A search for a permanent coach will be conducted in the spring, Duin said.
Duin said Shoffs employment status as a teacher at the school is unchanged; his role as coach of Lake Oswegos girls golf team is uncertain, however, because the school board has not yet made coaching appointments for the spring golf season, Duin said.
Beyond that, she said, as a matter of policy, the Lake Oswego School District does not discuss information involving personnel records.
Shoff has come under fire before during his tenure with the Lakers. In 2009, he was suspended briefly during the basketball season for an alleged physical encounter with a student. That incident occurred during a Physical Education class he taught; he was found to be in gross neglect of duty and publicly reprimanded by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practice Commission in November 2010.
Johnson said he wonders why the administration chose to dismiss Shoff from his duties now after all these years. He also said he never felt Shoff judged his son by his race.
Behdad Sami, who played for the Lakers from 2001 to 2003, told The Reviews news partner KOIN 6 this week that Shoff ridiculed him for being Middle Eastern. A Persian of Iranian descent, Sami said the treatment he got from Schoff is one reason he transferred to Southridge High after his sophomore year.
I had a terrible experience with him, Sami said. During tryout he called me Osama bin Laden three different times, even though he knew my name.
Sami, who is not Muslim, said the bin Laden references make him angry even now. But he said it was just one of many incidents involving Shoff that Lake Oswego ignored.
He has mentally abused kids for a very long time, Sami said.
In 2004, Shoff was investigated by the district following allegations from a group of parents that he made racially insensitive comments. That complaint was ultimately dismissed.
Under Shoff, Lake Oswego had a 353-124 record, making the state playoffs 18 consecutive years and winning eight Three Rivers League titles. Shoff also coached the 2006 team, which featured current NBA star Kevin Love, to the schools first state title. On Sunday, Loves parents, Stan and Karen Love, told television station KATU that Shoff got a raw deal. Our son wouldnt be the player he is today without his high school basketball coach.
This season, the Lakers are 5-5 and are scheduled to open league play Friday against Canby.