HS Football: Bonnevie not shocked by rejection

Mark Bonnevie was not in attendance Thursday night when the Regional School Unit 73 school board voted not to have him return as varsity football coach at Spruce Mountain High School. But he wasn't surprised with the outcome.

The board voted 3-6, with two abstentions and two directors absent, to reject Bonnevie's nomination for head football coach. The vote came after a 55-minute executive session that included high school principals Gilbert “Specs” Eaton of the North Campus in Jay and Steve Leunig of the South Campus in Livermore Falls, athletic director Sally Boivin and Spruce Mountain Middle School principal Scott Albert for portions of the session.

The position will be reposted and, if necessary, advertised to find a new coach.

Bonnevie, who is an administrative assistant at Spruce Mountain Middle School, expressed frustration and disappointment with the decision, but was reluctant  to go into more detail about his reaction to the vote or comments made at the meeting.

"In the big picture, I'm not the first this has ever happened to and I'm sure I won't be the last," he said. "It's why people give up coaching when they don't want to, stuff like this."

"I've got lots to say but I don't want to say because I just can't," he added. "I've just got to let everything else speak for itself."

He said supporters wanted him to attend Thursday's meeting but he had grown weary of the process.

"I had so many meetings. I told them I'd done enough interviews and I'd done enough things that if they aren't going to go on my track record and things like that, I've got nothing else to say," he said.

Jay and Livermore Falls consolidated in early 2011 to form Spruce Mountain. On May 31, the board of directors accepted Superintendent Robert Wall's recommendation of Bonnevie as head coach by a vote of 11-1-1. The long-time rival  high schools' sports teams merged on July 1 and the football team was assigned to the Campbell Conference Class B.

Spruce Mountain finished the regular season with a 4-4 record and lost to Mountain Valley in the Campbell Conference quarterfinals, 48-0.

Public comments at Thursday's meeting centered around playing time, lack of communication from coaches to players and organizing a summer football program.

Bonnevie declined to respond to the concerns raised at the meeting but hinted the problems surfaced before last season started.

"It was a year-long thing, most definitely," he said.

Prior to the merger, Bonnevie was head coach at Jay for nine years, where he compiled a 49-38 record and led the Tigers to the 2004 Western Class C title.

Former players, fellow coaches and friends started contacting Bonnevie early Friday to express their support.

"I've been on the phone or texting since ... I think the first one was at six o'clock (Friday) morning," Bonnevie said early Friday night.

Bonnevie said he would like to coach somewhere next fall.

"I'm like any coach. I coach because I love the game and I love kids. But sometimes there are other individuals who see it differently," he said.

"My coaching days aren't over. Let's put it that way," he added. "I will definitely be involved in the game somewhere."

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Roger Moulton's picture

Beyond disgusted!

I am beyond disgusted to read this. Mark Bonnevie is by far one of the most respected, well balanced, dedicated coaches I've ever had the pleasure to play for. When I was in school we had coach Henry, coach Bonnevie, and coach Bilouris (spelling?). Henry could be a little over the top at times and Bilouris was a little too soft at times. Mark Bonnevie was PERFECTLY in the middle. He wasn't too hard but never too soft. He encouraged players to lift not just for football but for their own health and well being. I haven't had the opportunity to get back and watch any games but you don't fire a HIGH SCHOOL football coach based on record. These kids are their to learn sportsmanship, team play, and also I think teaching kids that putting your best effort forward is the most important not what the scoreboard reads at the end of the game(again as long as you know you gave 100%). And knowing Coach the way I do I know he did as good as anyone could do with all of the above. So what the schoolboard proved to these kids is that winning is all that matters. There is no doubt in my mind that this all originated from LF folks that were mad that their coach didn't get the job. I have heard some people from LF saying that he was done after last year, people that don't even have children in school anymore and it was because they thought former LF coaches could do a better job. Every single one of you that voted against bringing him back should be ashamed of yourselves. Just as the ones that voted against Mike Henry when he was let go should be ashamed. Mike Henry was let go because a varsity player wasn't giving any effort and was out-performed and asked to play JV. This player played in JV games and then skipped every Tuesday practice, so of course he was asked to leave the team. His mom or his moms best friend (can't remember) was a member of the school board and that's how all that started. And letting Coach Bonnevie go started with some people from LF running their mouths and the lame 6 schoolboard members buying into the BS. MARK BONNEVIE HAS DEDICATED A LARGE CHUNK OF HIS LIFE TO OUR CHILDREN AND OUR SCHOOL AND WE THANKED HIM WITH THIS HUGE KICK TO THE GROIN. RSU73 Schoolboard remember this is HIGH SCHOOL sports and you just let go one of the best mentor, role model, and Coach that you were ever lucky enough to have. I'm sure it doesn't help any Coach but I am a better person because of you. I have always and always will look up to you and have the utmost respect for you and appreciate the amount of time, dedication, and effort that you have contributed to our community. Of course those that know me know I have a lot more to say but this post would be deleted

 's picture

It would appear to me that

It would appear to me that this is just more fallout from the consolidation. Sorry to read this Mark


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