My view: A different opinion of Coach Dubach

By Don and Robyn Shelton

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, April 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

After reading the Deseret News article detailing the resignation of Coach Mark Dubach, we felt there was another side to the story people should know ("Bingham High coach quit amid allegations," April 9).

Our son, Johnathan, is mentally special needs. He attended Bingham High School and has been involved with many of the sports programs at the school for the past eight years. Johnathan is an assistant coach (of sorts) for the football, basketball and soccer programs. If you look closely, you will see him on the sidelines during most of the games. As his parents, we have accompanied him to practices, been on the sidelines during games, been inside the locker rooms during half times and at the end of games, and we have had the privilege of having many of the players and coaches visit our home.

Our experience with Coach Dubach is very different from the picture painted in the article alleging abuse of his players. In the past eight years that we have been associated with the coach, we have never seen him verbally abuse any player. We have been there during moments of great joy and excitement, as the team won close games and even the state title. We have also been there during moments of extreme frustration and disappointment, as the team lost games they should have been able to win. We have been at the practices, on the sidelines and in the locker room during the highs and the lows. We have seen him coaching in very tough situations — never have we witnessed abusive behavior.

Beyond the basketball court, the coach has taught his players to love and respect those that are not blessed with the mental and physical abilities each of them possesses. Our son, Johnathan, plays in an Adaptive Junior Jazz league with a number of other special needs young men and women. For the past six years, the coach has sent his players to the final game of the year for the special needs group. He encourages them to attend and to get out on the court and participate with the special needs players. You cannot imagine the joy the experience is for all involved. The Adaptive players look forward to the event each year. And there are many smiles and even tears of joy among the parents of those players.

We understand that Coach Dubach is a member of the human race and in that capacity may have made some mistakes. That being said, we have never seen him treat anyone in an abusive manner. We have been witness to some great coaching moments on the basketball court. Further, we have been witness to some great coaching moments away from the court, which have blessed the lives of many special needs kids, their families and his own players. He has been a great friend to our son and to us.

Don and Robyn Shelton are residents of South Jordan.

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