Barton Community College alumnus Trent Gash has started a petition to get long-time head Baseball coach Mike Warren a contract.
Warren, who has been with Barton for 30 years, has not has his contract renewed for the 2013-14 season.
“We just had an alumni weekend,” Gash said. “There were about 90 of us there, and Coach Warren had the current players leave and told us what was going on.
“He’s been there for 30 years and this is the first time they’ve asked him to coach without a contract.”
In late April, the Barton Board of Trustees approved nine one-year coaching contract renewals.
Two contracts were not renewed, Warren and head track and field/cross-country coach Dave Schenek.
Since then, Schenek has had his contract renewed on Sept. 26.
However, Warren is preparing for the new season without a contract, something Gash said has several former players frustrated.
“He’s the reason the program exists,” Gash said. “He was like a father figure to me, and several players who came to Barton 100 percent because of Coach Warren.
“There’s no reason he couldn’t be a contracted coach if he can still coach and he wants to be a coach there.”
After hearing about the situation, Gash, who was a player for Warren in the early 1990s, said he had to do something, so he started an online petition.
“We simply want to know why,” Gash said. “We see it as a slap to the face by an athletic director who is just looking at the numbers from last season, which was his worst season in the 30 years he’s been there.”
The Cougars skipper is 872-605 overall with Barton and 969-715 over his career.
Last season, Barton finished 15-34 overall, 10-22 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division.
“He had several injuries last year, which hurt his team,” Gash said. “That’s just one season in a mostly-successful career with Barton. There are just so many players who came to Barton because of Coach Warren.
“I was a player there from 1991 to 1993. I redshirted a year for a chance for another season at Barton entirely because of Coach Warren.”
Gash said he hopes to get over 1,000 signatures from former players, as well as others who have known Warren over his three decades with Barton, before sending the petition to Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman and Athletic Director Trevor Rolfs.
After nearly two days, the online petition has 119 signatures.
Warren has said that he is receiving the same pay and benefits as he did under contract.
The petition can be found at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/coach-mike-warren?source=s.fwd&r_by=9346234