PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A championship high school baseball coach is out of a job, and now, he claims the high school in Ahwatukee got rid of him, because he "doesn't communicate effectively with Millennials".
In an interview, now former Desert Vista High School Baseball coach Stan Luketich said he himself is not sure what school officials meant. He said the news hit him out of nowhere, and said he had planned on coaching at the school for a few more seasons.
Luketich, who started the baseball program at Desert Vista in 1996, said he was called into the office of the school's Athletic Director, on April 3.
"He said, 'you need to strongly consider resigning at the end of the year'," said Luketich.
Luketich said he told the Athletic Director that he will not resign. A few days later, he was called to meet with the Athletic Director, as well as the principal, Dr. Christine Barela.
"Within the conversation, they asked me again to resign," said Luketich. "I said I would not resign, but I did ask, 'if you coached 42 years, you should at least know why.'"
Luketich said the Athletic Director had previously told him that his kids "don't play with passion and energy".
"The principal said to me. 'you do not effectively communicate with Millennials," said Luketich. "I think, from what she said, she believes that I'm too tough on kids, that I have rules that she feels are outdated."
Although is still confused about the reasons for being let go, Luketich said the support he has received since then has been overwhelming.
FOX 10 Phoenix did reach out to Desert Vista High School's Principal, Dr. Christine Barela. Barela denied accusations that Luketich was fired. She said, in a statement:
"Mr. Luketich was not fired. He completed the entire season and, after several conversations over the course of two years, a decision was made not to rehire him for the next year. I appreciate Mr. Luketich's service and wish him well."
As for his future plans, Luketich said he still has a passion for coaching, and hopes to find a spot on the team for the next season.