Well, this is a new way to get fired. Unsatisfied with just doing his job at Seymour (Conn.) High School, swim team coach Kevin Quill tried to fire up his team by dappling in the motivational screen printing business. His subject? A member of his own team who had quit after not being named captain.
(Another of Quill’s motivational techniques: Throwing shoes at slow swimmers.)
Hence shirts emblazoned with “The Mascot is a quitter,” a message that sounds fairly benign until you realize that the player in question was actually named Mascot. Even more ridiculously, Quill tried to defend the action, saying that the shirts were, “not poking fun at the student (Mascot), but instead were poking fun at the situation.” How exactly a shirt that is only clever in how it uses the word mascot as a double-entendre is poking fun at the situation, we have no idea. What situation? The fact that the kid’s name was Mascot? That’s a situation?
Even better, due to some fairly impressive journalism at the NEW HAVEN REGISTER, we now know that Quill had a history of completely inappropriate messages emblazoning the shirts he made for the team … and was then reimbursed for by the team’s parental booster club. Among the highlights: “Smashing the Competition, One Tree … One Team at a Time,” a reference to a swim team member who drove into a tree, suffering head injuries that left him in a coma for a short period; and, our personal favorite, “The Wetter, The Better,” a shirt worn exclusively by members of the girls’ swim team.
Add to that abusive phone calls to team members and general bellicosity at practices, and it’s clear why the Seymour School District was just looking for a reason to fire this idiot, who happens to be the brother of the coach at Southern Connecticut State.
“As a team, we experienced a lot more crying then we did smiling and laughing at given practices,” said one former swimmer, who asked to remain anonymous because she has a family member working in the school system.
Several girls interviewed said Quill would regularly throw kickboards and pool buoys — and, once, a shoe — at swimmers when he was displeased.
“He was very aggressive as a guy and he tended to lash out a lot,” said Jenelle Hillman, a swimmer who graduated in 2005. “You could definitely tell he didn’t know how to deal with girls because he was just very impatient with us.”
Really, the more you find out about the case, the biggest question seems to be why the guy was even still employed? Also, what kind of an idiot throws his shoe into a pool? Seriously! Have fun walking around with a wet foot for a week.