One man’s desire to run a marathon cost him his job. Matt Aguero, the head track and cross country coach at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., was fired just two days after finishing the Boston Marathon in two hours, 35 minutes and 33 seconds.
Aguero recorded his conversation, rationalizing that this was a bizarre firing. He met with St. Gregory’s athletic director Dr. Jeff Potter in a meeting on Wednesday, April 26, during which Potter told Aquero that the marathon triggered his firing.
“Your personal competitiveness can take away the energy and commitment to a program,” Potter said in the interview.
Who knew? Competitiveness is a bad quality in a coach.
Confused at how he could possibly be fired for such an offense, Aguero approached the Director of Human Resources at the university Cheri Boyd. She explained that Potter said the marathon was the reason Potter came to her about the firing. Aguero was fired, she said to Deadspin writer Jon Gugala, “was the fact that Dr. Potter had told me he’d given a directive that was not followed by his employee.”
One of Aguero’s track athletes, Monika Kalicinsk won an NAIA championship in May 2013. Unfortunately, Aguero could not attend, because, of course, he had run the 2013 Boston Marathon and suffered a one week suspension.
“This suspension is the result of your attendance at the Boston Marathon which resulted in your missing team practice time, class time, and a possible meet attendance,” Potter wrote in a letter. Aguero’s was concerned with his “personal interests” which were not in “the best interests of Track and Field team and the Athletic Department.”