Mike Lewis has been reinstated as the boys basketball coach at Lawrence High School.
According to a press release the Lawrence Public Schools released Friday afternoon, the district and Lawrence High School administrators met with Lewis after the non-extension of his coaching assignment to discuss the evaluation process. All parties agreed that an extension would be in the best interest of students and the basketball program.
“After conversations with the district and school administration, I better understand the areas I need to improve on as a coach and I’m definitely willing to work on those areas,” Lewis said in the release. “I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to work with Lawrence High basketball.”
Lewis led the Lions to a 17-5 record this season and a runner-up finish in their Kansas Class 6A substate tournament.
“I’m impressed with Mike’s commitment and thankful that he wants to continue to lead our program,” Lawrence High principal Matt Brungardt said in the release.
The school’s initial decision was met with passionate feedback from the community, which included a strong showing of support for Lewis on Monday at the Lawrence school board meeting.
“I apologize that this caused concern among members of the public,” Superintendent Rick Doll said in the release. “I can understand that people have an interest in knowing all of the details, but personnel matters are confidential for a reason — to protect the privacy rights of the individual involved.”
Doll acknowledged that the experience exposed weaknesses in the district’s evaluation process for coaches, which will be corrected.
“This was a learning experience for all of us. The district will develop a better evaluation tool. Mike has agreed to work on some areas and Matt and Bill (DeWitt, athletic director) have committed to improve communication,” Doll said in the release. “The bottom line is that everyone involved is dedicated to doing what’s best for students and Lawrence High Schools’ basketball program.”