The Clark College men’s basketball team went 25-4 this season and won the Western Division of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.
The Penguins’ season earned Mike Arnold coach-of-the-year honors in the conference.
But what it didn’t earn him was another season as the Penguins’ coach.
Arnold was notified Wednesday, via a letter from athletic director Charles Guthrie, that he would not be retained.
The letter stated the decision was reached after an evaluation of his performance the past season.
“I have been here for seven years,” Arnold said. “I have only received one formal evaluation during my time here, which was with Alex Montoya (former dean of enrollment services) and Denny Huston (former interim athletic director), who both commended me for my efforts. If I would have had the opportunity to receive more evaluations maybe then I could have gone through them and adapt to and bring to light any concerns.”
Guthrie said all of the coaching positions at Clark are appointed on a year-to-year basis.
“The athletic department has decided to go in a different direction,” Guthrie said. “When it comes down to it, I make any and all of the decisions pertaining to Clark athletics.”
When asked if a reappointment for Arnold as the head coach position was a possibility the answer was simply “no.”
Arnold will keep his position as a teacher.
“I came here to coach and teach,” Arnold said. “Not just to do one or the other.”
Guthrie, who has been the athletic director for seven months, said he was unable to comment further on the decision.
As for Arnold, he said he was shocked by the fact that he will no longer be coaching at Clark.
“It really comes down to the fact that I feel sorry for the guy,” Arnold said of Guthrie. “His wife just had a baby, he has this new job and he just got back from a long tournament weekend. Combining all of that together you get a very poor sleeping schedule and a short amount of time to reflect on a big decision.”
Guthrie said all of the decisions made in the athletic department are in the best intentions of the student athlete’s experience.
“We thank (Arnold) for all the hard work he has poured into this program,” he added.