After a win-less 2016 campaign, the Donovan Catholic football program has decided to move on from Head Coach Tom Tarver.
Reportedly, Tarver was fired over the phone – as the news broke over Twitter that the first year Head Coach would be out of his job.
— DCHS Football (@DCGriffinsFB) December 5, 2016
Tarver also took to Twitter to comment on his job status.
TODAY I WAS FIRED OVER THE PHONE AS THE DONOVAN CATHOLIC HEAD FOOTBALL COACH. I WILL NEVER COMPROMISE WHO I AM AS A COACH AND A MAN!
— Tom Tarver (@tom_tarver) December 5, 2016
Now further adding to the setback that was this past Donovan Catholic season, Tarver is out after one year as the Head Coach. He previously coached at Manalapan from 2000-2003.
In his final season with Manalapan, Tarver led his squad to the Central Jersey Group IV title.
We had a chance to speak to Coach Tarver at length after his dismissal. Tarver feels that he was doomed from the start.
“The 0-10 season was a direct result of the team not being properly prepared to compete because I was not allowed to do my job. From the day Joe (Gomulka) hired me, I was told that I would be able to implement my program and run things my way. The main part of that was the ability to install a strength and conditioning program. Go take a look at all the top programs in the Shore. Go over to Manalapan. Go over to Toms River North. Go over to Jackson Memorial. What do they all have in common? Their main focus is on the players getting bigger, stronger, and faster. Tell Coach Guirerri, Coach Oiserowitz, or Coach Krystopik that they are not allowed to run a strength and conditioning program and see what they have to say about that! I was never given the opportunity to do things my way. I always had to do things the way they wanted to, and I think you can see that it hasn’t worked. The problem didn’t start with me or the previous coach. There’s a reason why this program has been 4-26 over the past three years”.
Tarver also claims that the parents and kids are very aware of this situation.
“The kids are suffering because they are not allowed to work out regularly. They can’t get into the weight room after practice. They can’t get in there on the weekends. I could not help them because I was never given a key. We even had parents who were donating barbells and other equipment. Some of the kids would spend Saturdays out in the rain using what was donated. How can a team expect to compete in the Shore Conference when they are not even allowed to do power cleans? Some players even went as far as to take on a membership at Toms River Fitness. How is that fair when the parents are already paying tuition?
Tarver insists that it was his goal to continue to bring up this situation to start the offseason even if he had to be the sacrificial lamb.
“I talked to the kids, and I had a meeting with the coaches. I said that I was going to fight for them no matter what I had to do. How is this program ever going to improve if this does not get addressed? It’s not even just a matter of wins and losses. How can we honestly take the field to play against kids who are much bigger and stronger? Now it’s a matter of potential injuries occurring. They wanted me to just stay on the sideline and not say anything. I said today that I would not compromise who I am as a man or as a coach to just say nothing”.
Finally, Tarver worries about what is going to happen in the future. He came to Donovan with the intention of making an impact, and now he feels there will be a lot of uncertainty.
“I love my kids and coaches. I knew we had the potential to do something really special here. I look at non publics in the Shore Conference like Red Bank Catholic and St John Vianney and I wanted Donovan Catholic to be an alternative for kids who wanted to attend private school and stay in Ocean County. Tonight, I’ve heard from a lot of parents and a lot of my kids, and the sad thing is, they are just filled with so much concern. They don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s hard for them to stay committed to a program when they don’t know what is ahead. I still believe I did the right thing in my heart. The school officials are the ones who decided to move on because I stood up for what was right”
Donovan Catholic Athletic Director Joe Gomulka could not be reached at this time. We will continue to reach out to him for comment.
NJ HS Sports Report (@NJSportsReport) will keep you updated on this situation.