Faribault Bethlehem Academy Director of Advancement and Volleyball Coach Franz Boelter issued a statement this evening addressing the reasons he was given for his dismissal as the Head Coach for volleyball.  I asked Coach Boelter to read the statement for our listeners so they could hear the words he wanted emphasized.  He respectfully declined.  I read the statement live on KDHL about 7:30 this evening.

Here is the statement by Franz Boelter in it's entirety.  This is exactly the way he wrote it.  I added the quotation marks at the beginning and the end.

"First of all, I want to make it clear that, while I am retiring from my position in the advancement office of BA effective June 30, 2018, I did not resign or retire from my position as the head Cardinal volleyball coach.  The President/Principal and the Executive Committee of the BA Board of Directors informed me that I would not be returning as the volleyball coach Friday morning, February 9.

This was the first time EVER, in 26 years as the head volleyball coach at Ba or in 30 years as the head boys basketball coach, that I was talked to regarding the issues below.

The three key reasons given (and the only ones provided to me) for making their decision to not retain me were as follows:

  • Emotional mistreatment of student-athletes.
  • Lack of concern for all the players that are part of the program.
  • Failure as a coach to live up to the mission of the school in treating all students with dignity and respect.

Ironically, these are three areas that we have always worked extremely hard on and have repeatedly been complimented on by opposing coaches and fans, as well as the vast majority of our past and present players and parents.  People have noted how well we treat and interact with our players, how all of our athletes seem to completely buy into the concept of TEAM and not ME, and how we all seem to care a great deal about each other as players, managers, and coaches.  In fact, I have spoken at state coaches clinics about these very things and the methods that we use to foster them.  As a coach it is my responsibility, and my honor, to move our players beyond their self-perceived limits, moving them "outside of their box,"  and helping them to be the best players and people they can be.

As far as living up to the mission of the school, we encourage our players to achieve personal, spiritual, and academic excellence.  We talk about the importance of faith and how critical it is to make a positive difference in the lives of the people around us every day.  We also talk almost every day about how important each person on our squad is, managers included, to the success of the team.  We emphasize that everyone has a critical role, whether it is during practice or in games, and that we are all capable of doing great things that allow each of us to take equal ownership in the successes and failures of our squad.

I have been blessed to serve at BA for the past 34 years in a variety of capacities.  I have worked for and with so many awesome kids, parents and assistant coaches.  It saddens me that this could be my last year of coaching and that it could end like this."

Boelter's children have started a "Fight for Franz" Facebook group that has scores of comments from past players and others telling their experiences with the long time coach.

Bethany Boelter is requesting, "phone calls and letters" to school officials supporting Franz and says, "He is truly my hero and I know it means so, so much to him to have you backing him during this difficult time.  My family has so much love for the BA community and all of you."

Coach Boelter told me he has been very touched by all the support he has received from former athletes, many parents and community members.

I have received many texts and phone calls from coaches and administrators across the area in complete bewilderment over the news.

I have reached out to Bethlehem Academy for an official statement and have received nothing.  If I do get a response it will be posted here.

Section 1A 2017 Volleyball Champion Bethlehem Academy. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld November 2017