White coach in heavily Asian high school claims he was fired over race

Alex Myers Contributor
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A Facebook post from a former St. Paul, Minn. high school baseball coach had a school district investigating after the man claimed his former employer fired him so it could hire an Asian coach, in order to guarantee more Asian-American players on the team.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Michael Grover, who is white, said his freshman teams at Johnson Senior High had two strong seasons before falling into a slump this year with just two wins.

But instead of that being the reason for his replacement, he said, athletics director Jeff Plaschko brought up his race when discussing Grover’s departure.

“He said he wants to replace us with Asian coaches,” Grover said, “because he wants more Hmong players on the team.”

Despite a near-majority of Asian-American students in the school, last year’s freshman baseball team was all-white.

The Pioneer Press wrote that Plaschko, a two-decade veteran with the school district, was not advised to comment. But other Minnesota athletics veterans said that they doubt the director would make such a blunt racial statement, especially because firing employees based on their race is illegal.

The school district denied that allegation, saying, “Under no circumstances do we base hiring or firing on a person’s racial or ethnic background.”

Grover’s assistant coach, Greg Progreba, was also fired.

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