Record-setting coach given performance improvement plan

Eaton is baseball, and Eaton baseball is Jim Danley.

EATON - Eaton is baseball, and Eaton baseball is Jim Danley.

"The Reds baseball program casts a pretty long shadow and perhaps too long for some people's taste," said Danley, the head coach of the Eaton varsity baseball team.

It's not about victories or state titles. It simply can't be.

Danley's 807 wins are the most in Colorado history. His teams have won 11 state titles, most recently this year -- also a state record.

"There's no questioning coach Danley's record and what he's done," said Superintendent of Eaton Schools Dr. Randy Miller. But he and the school district have presented Danley with a 13-point performance improvement plan. He could face termination if he doesn't sign the document.

"I don't see anyway someone could sign that thing, because you would be delaying your demise," Danley told 9NEWS.

There are two major issues that stand out from the district's proposal. The school wants Jim's son Kirk, who is not on the Reds coaching staff, out of the varsity baseball picture. In a related issue, the district feels like kids are being pressured into playing baseball year round.

PLAN: Read the performance improvement plan here

"There is zero truth to that," Jim said. "In fact, since that's a measurable item, I checked that out. Seventeen of our 19 kids from last year's varsity team are playing other sports."

The agreement remains unsigned. If it stays that way through a school board meeting on Monday night, Danley's 45-year tenure as Eaton's baseball coach could be over.

"If you get in the business of punishing success and excellence then you've got to do it quickly, you've got to stay in the dark and you've got to hope someone doesn't pull the shade and cast a light on it. That's where I am at now," Danley said.

When asked how he would like to see Danley finish his career at Eaton Miller said, "on top".

"People are saying you're trying to get rid of him and I told coach Danley several times that's that last thing I want," Miller said. "But like everyone else in the district, there's things you need to work on."

It's his first performance evaluation ever. And after 44 years and 11 state titles, it wasn't exactly what he expected.

"It isn't the way I treat people," Danley said, "and I frankly won't be treated by people in that manner. It's insulting."

(© 2015 KUSA)


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