Bluffs, Winchester Appear At Odds Over Retaining Softball Coach

By Benjamin Cox on October 22, 2022 at 6:19am

The Bluffs and Winchester School Boards appear at odds on whether or not to retain a softball coach.

According to the Journal Courier, the Bluffs School Board voted on Monday not to dismiss head softball coach Kandice Kunkel in a 4-2 vote. The vote went against a September vote by the Winchester School Board to dismiss Kunkel, following the sports co-op administration’s recommendation.

According to the West Central co-op sports policy, both school boards must agree on the hiring or dismissal of a coach. Kunkel currently remains head coach. She has been the head coach of the West Central High School softball program since the 2018-2019 season, replacing Candy Wagner.

The Journal Courier further reports that Kunkel was placed on leave on August 22nd of this year’s junior high softball season pending an investigation by Superintendent Kevin Blankenship. The nature of the investigation has not been revealed. Blankenship hired a replacement coach to finish the junior high season this year.

The West Central Athletic Co-Op Committee is expected to meet this coming Monday night. The committee includes Blankenship, West Central Athletic Director Grant DeWitt, the Bluffs & Winchester principals, and two members from each school board.

Blankenship told the Journal Courier that subsequent school board meetings in November could take up Kunkel’s employment once again.