Lijit Ad Wijit

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

UPDATED 3:02 p.m.: BREAKING: Alvis, devastated, fired as Mount softball coach


Larry Alvis has been fired as head coach of the Mount St. Mary's softball team, and confirmed as much in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Alvis says the he was notified Tuesday that he would no longer be the coach at the Mount, but did not want to offer too many details on the process as he still hopes to retain his position.

"I’m shocked and devastated, yes. That’s the best words I can come up with. I don’t feel I did anything to deserve this," Alvis said. "I want to coach at Mount St. Mary’s. I thought I had the program going in a good direction. I don’t know if I have a chance of staying at the Mount but I would want to stay at the Mount. I don’t want to leave; I want to finish what I started. I would hope I would have some support."

According to a source familiar with the situation, Alvis was likely ousted by some members of the departing senior class as well as some anonymous letters sent to the school's administration, which Alvis also spoke about briefly.

"I’m not sure what the benefit of anonymous letters can [be to] anybody," Alvis said.

The source said that multiple players quit the team near the end of the season and that many of the class of 2010 team members gave negative reviews of Alvis in their exit interviews. The underclassmen, however, were surprised to learn of Alvis's firing and do not all share the same feelings as the seniors, according to the source. Alvis can only hope that this is true.

"I don’t believe I’ve ever done anything to harm anybody. They’re not accusing me of doing anything devastating," Alvis said. "Just ask my players I think they know."

Alvis sent the returning players a text message around noon Wednesday confirming to them that he had been released.

"This is hard for me to write but I’m no longer your coach at the Mount. If you have any questions call me," read the text message from Alvis.

Audibly shook and at a loss for words, Alvis expressed great remorse over the decision and hopes he has the chance to tell his side of the story.

"I was told that it possibly came out of [President Thomas H. Powell's] office. Well I think if the president’s heard some negative things I think the president should hear the positive side, too. Don’t listen to one side of the story and go from there. I believe there’s always two sides to a story," Alvis stated. "I haven’t seen anything yet in writing that tells me that I can’t address what’s my side. It just doesn’t seem right. I feel like I’m being – I love that job. I love working with the young ladies. This ain’t easy.

"I’m trying to figure out my method for what do I do at this point? I don’t want to leave Mount softball. I wish they would reconsider. I don’t want to leave."

The source also stated that after the school's administration received negative reviews on Alvis from the senior class, none of the underclassmen were asked their opinion on whatever allegations were levied against Alvis.

One returning player, speaking off the record, went as far as to defend Alvis on Wednesday:

"I don’t think he should have been fired," the played said.

Alvis also suspects that some of the aspects of the program that he inherited, as well as the impossibility of keeping everyone on the team happy, contributed to his release.

"You got to do what you got to do to keep the program going. And I feel like that’s part of what’s haunting me still is what I inherited and the weeding out process, so to speak. It takes time to get kids," Alvis said. "I don’t know how you can keep everybody happy. I feel like I’m being held accountable of keeping everybody happy and I don’t know how that’s possible. If you’re carrying 22 players, nine of them play. How many does that make that’s going to be unhappy? You do the best you can … but you try to win games also"

This season's team had a record of 25-25 overall including a 7-12 mark in Northeast Conference play, putting the team in seventh place out of 11 in the standings. After beginning the year 7-1 including a tournament championship at the UNC-Wilmington Seahawk Classic, the team stumbled to an 18-24 finish including losses in 11 of its last 15 games.

Rising junior Lizz Christiansen led this year's squad with single-season program records of 11 home runs and 50 RBI. She was also named the NEC's Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-NEC selection along with class of 2010 third baseman Amanda Buckel, while Christiansen's classmate Taylor Beebe earned second-team honors at shortstop.

An injury to ace pitcher Nicole Pagano hampered the team as well. The freshman, who had surgery mid-season, began the year 4-1 with a 1.20 earned-run average in five starts including one shutout.

In six years Alvis compiled a 109-175 record in six seasons as head coach. In 2006 - his second season at the Mount - the team went 31-25 and qualified for the NEC tournament for the first time since 1998, earning Alvis NEC Coach of the Year honors.

"I stand on my record – fastest coach to get to 100 wins, right? The program’s got the most wins it’s ever had under my tenure [in 2006]," Alvis said. "I was very proud of what those young ladies [who made All-NEC] did and two of them are coming back. I must be reaching some of them, right? ... I’m not the coach [anymore] but I’d like to be the coach."

Before coming to the Mount, Alvis served as an assistant for the softball team at his alma mater, UMBC.


An excerpt from an e-mail sent at 1:37 p.m. Wednesday to the Mount softball players from Director of Athletics Lynne Robinson:

"Dear Members of the Mount St. Mary’s University Softball Team:

I am writing to inform you that Coach Larry Alvis will not be returning to Mount St. Mary’s as our head softball coach next season.

While we are grateful to Coach Alvis for his six years of dedicated service to the Mount, we will now begin the process of finding a new head coach. Our goal is to have a new coach hired by August 1st."


Anonymous said...

Pretty typical politics for Frederick County softball...haven't similar issues allegedly happened in the past with Mount softball???

Those applying for the position might want to consider what awaits them...perhaps looking outside of maryland for candidates would do the program some good?

surprised by the alleged decision making process (or lack thereof) of Mount's administration. Shouldn't allegations impacting someone's job performance include seeking interviews from various "sides" of an alleged issue or accusation?

Those familiar around the local fastpitch scene could probably guess a few candidates from the "local softball good ol'boy club" who will be applying for the job.

Same old story...different year!

Anonymous said...

This is a shame! Larry Alvis was one of, if not the most, dedicated and hardest working coach at MSM. Strange decisions being made!