By Bryant Billing
SIDNEY — Former Lehman Catholic boys basketball coach Tim Gleason says a personality conflict between himself and athletic director Dick Roll is the reason he won’t return next season, while Roll said the school decided to go in another direction.
Lehman announced earlier this week it was seeking a boys basketball head coach for next season. Gleason took over the program in 2015 and guided it to a 23-47 record in three seasons.
“It is clear to anyone close to this situation that this came down to a personality conflict between the athletic director and myself,” Gleason said in a statement on Thursday. “Lehman will be hard pressed to find a coach more loyal to the school, more giving of their time and more caring for the kids.”
Gleason’s replacement will be Lehman’s sixth coach in the last 11 years.
“This alone speaks volumes to the situation,” Gleason said.
Roll, the school’s longtime football coach and athletic director, said on Thursday the school decided to change course.
“We reached a decision and are moving in a different direction,” Roll said.
The Cavaliers were 9-15 last season and won their first tournament game since 2015. They finished 10-13 in 2016-17 and 4-19 in 2015-16.
Gleason, a Lehman alumnus, spent nearly a decade as an assistant before becoming head coach.
“I am very proud of the progress we have made with the boys basketball program at Lehman the last three years,” Gleason said. “Lehman is playing a brand of basketball that Lehman fans can be proud of. Kids are playing fundamentally-sound basketball; making the extra pass, playing excellent defense, playing with energy, hustle and a love for the game.
“The team has gotten better every year, the participation numbers in the program have gone up every year… I’m proud to say the youth program is the best it has ever been.”