David Blue will not return as head coach of the Hudson boys lacrosse team next year.
Superintendent of Hudson City Schools Phil Herman met with Blue Thursday regarding the decision not to renew the longtime coach.
"It was strictly coaching," Herman said. "There were concerns of a culture of negativity … use of inappropriate language and exhibiting anger and frustration toward our athletes."
Blue led the Explorers to a 13-6 record and to the Division I, Region 2 title match during the spring.
Blue had been Hudson’s head coach for the last 23 years. He led the Explorers to a 320-117 record, including the program’s only state championship in 2011.
Hudson reached the state semifinals nine times since 2005 and was the state runner-up in 2000 and 2007.
Herman sent the following email to the Hudson lacrosse players and their parents about the decision not to retain Blue:
"Over the past several months, the Hudson City School District Office of Human Resources has thoroughly investigated allegations concerning inappropriate and unprofessional coaching behavior of the head coach of the boys’ lacrosse program, Coach Blue.
"The district expects our coaches to support Hudson students through positive coaching techniques and to develop a positive culture for players and within the team.
"Based on the results of the investigation and the very clear expectations that were in place for Coach Blue, the Hudson City School District administration will not be recommending Coach Blue for re-employment in a coaching role.
"We truly understand that there are many strong feelings regarding this decision. It is essential that no student, parent or staff member exercise their feelings in retaliatory or hostile ways.
"We encourage everyone to recognize the importance and responsibility we have as schools leaders, parents, coaches and community members to provide positive role modeling for our student athletes.
"The search for a new coach will begin immediately and we ask for your support for student athletes in coming together as one team moving forward.
"In addition, we encourage every student involved in playing lacrosse to practice hard, stay focused and carry forward the tradition, pride and winning spirit that is the embodiment of Explorer Lacrosse."
Herman said Blue will continue his teaching duties. Blue is a fourth-grade teacher at East Woods Elementary.
Herman said the administration is considering "all" candidates.
"Any time we make decisions to change coaches, they are difficult decisions," he said. "We are focusing on students having an excellent athletic experience as part of their educational experience."
Calls to Blue were unsuccessful.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.