BB coach of 29 years unexpectedly fired, community rallies to support him

GWINN — For 29 years, Darren Sinnaeve has roamed the sidelines for the boys basketball team at Gwinn High School.

And last week, the school decided they want to go in a different direction as athletic director Rob Soyring and superintendent Tom Jayne informed Coach Sinnaeve that a recommendation will be made to the school board to not renew his contract.

Sinnaeve says he was shocked to hear the news.

“I’m actually surprised because the fact that I had not heard anything at all since the beginning of the season. Now I knew that we had a board member or two that had players playing that were disgruntled with what was going on. But I hadn’t heard anything for so long that I figured it kind of tailed off. It was kind of a shocker. You’d think they would give you an idea so that you could look elsewhere when positions were open, but I didn’t hear anything until last Thursday,” said Sinnaeve.

Coach Sinnaeve says that he was asked to resign but refused, in part because he wasn’t ready to give up coaching, given that the team has had 10 wins or more in six of the last ten seasons, including the school’s first ever conference and district championships in 2010.

The news has spread on social media, with community members showing overwhelming support for Sinnaeve.

“It’s been unbelievable. That helps immensely, when you know you’ve done what you can to help make a program better and help change people’s lives and stuff like that. It’s all you can really ask for,” said Sinnaeve.

Soyring says the decision was not made based on any egregious acts or disciplinary measures. The decision is expected to made at the June 20th board meeting.

If passed, Sinnaeve says he would like to continue coaching somewhere in the local area.