Letter to the Editor: What a sad reality for Brentwood

Letter to the Editor:  What a sad reality for Brentwood

It is an absolute outrage to hear the news of the dismissal of Coach Ronnie Seigenthaler. A man who was a coach, a friend, a mentor, and an outstanding athletic director for Brentwood High School for 27 years.

Speaking as a Brentwood High school former athlete, it sickens me to hear of such an extreme sentence for such a minor infraction. I feel truly sorry for the current and future athletes of Brentwood High school who will be robbed of the opportunity to work with such an influential human being.

Holly Van Grinsven

I was an athlete for coach Seig for all 4 years of my high school career, and learned some of my biggest life lessons from that man. Coach Seig is a man of faith, a man of integrity, and a man who breeds positivity. It is an absolute shame that future athletes will not be able to develop the fundamentals that I, and countless athletes during his time have come to learn.

Back L to R: BHS Athletic Director Ron Siegenthaler, BHS Wrestling coach Joe Blair, Assistant Wrestling Coach Jarred Ruez. Front L to R: The Croy family; Jim, Cameron, Camille, Carson

Coach Seig taught his athletes dignity, a man who would never allow a single curse word on his watch, a man who ensured you treated the other team with respect and sportsmanship, a man who preached faith and Gods plans, a man who taught you to encourage others and yourself, a man who spent countless hours helping his athletes be the best versions of themselves.

In high school I was burdened with 2 stage-4 stress fractures and my dreams of being a college athlete quickly depleting. I sat at hours of practices, dwelling in the negativity of what seemed to be a career-ending injury.

Coach Seig spent every single day working with me, inspiring me, encouraging me, and using tough love to get me back in the game. It took 12 weeks to return from both of those injuries and without him I would have hung up my spikes.

I later went on to become a college Track and Field athlete, breaking my collegiate school recorded and being a top NCAA contender, because of the fundamentals he taught me, and because he never allowed me to give up on a dream.

While I understand what the infractions are, and yes they should definitely not be ignored, it is UNJUST to release a coach who has served this school and this community for nearly 3 decades.

Kelly Bickel with parents Kathy and Kent joined by coaches Ron Seigenthaler and Gary Kinder.//Brentwood Home Page

It is a harsh sentence for a situation that does NOT reflect what Coach Seig stands for, or how he handles athletic situations. “Defying expectations” is a laughable phrase, this denotes the hours, days, and weeks of extra time Coach Ronnie Seigenthaler spent going over and above for this athletes and the athletic program.

How could you throw away 27 years of serving over an infraction as small as “paperwork”, punishable by a simple reprimand, not a dismissal. It is disgusting that teachers at various schools around Middle Tennessee have done far worse and received a simple slap on the hands.

Brentwood’s Ronnie Seigenthaler, right, is named track and field Coach of the Year Friday night.//Brentwood Home Page

Earlier this year the Dean of Students for University School in Nashville, hit a biker on Natchez Trace and received a “leave of absence” while Coach Ronnie Seigenthaler was ultimately dismissed.

What a sad reality Brentwood is living for this to be taken as severely as it was.

Brentwood High School and Williamson County, and the parents who condone this – I am appalled and no longer willing to associate myself with a school who cannot defend a character who has been so invaluable.

After speaking to Coach Seig briefly, he said “I have always known and trusted in God’s Plan, and while this time I don’t know what it is, I trust the Lord.”
I and so many others believe that Williamson County is making a huge mistake. Coach Ronnie Seigenthaler will always be the face of Brentwood High School to those who know and love him.

A discouraged Brentwood Alumni
Holly Van Grinsven

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