High School Sports

High School Sports

Seabury wins game, loses coach

Seabury Academy coach Mike “Scoop” Harding congratulates Fisher Almanza (33) as he checks out of the game. Seabury topped Kansas School for the Deaf, 57-37, on Thursday at Seabury Academy.

Seabury Academy coach Mike “Scoop” Harding congratulates Fisher Almanza (33) as he checks out of the game. Seabury topped Kansas School for the Deaf, 57-37, on Thursday at Seabury Academy.

February 5, 2010


Seabury Academy’s boys basketball team ran its record to 8-3 Thursday night, with a 57-37 victory against the Kansas School for the Deaf.

Unfortunately, the sweetness of another victory was soured somewhat by the news that Seabury coach Mike “Scoop” Harding would not be returning to the school next season.

Harding said that Seabury athletic director Eric Nelson informed him Wednesday that people were not happy about his coaching style and that it likely would be best for all parties involved if he did not return as the Seahawks’ coach next season.

“I was told everybody (was not happy),” Harding said after the game. “But I don’t know what to say. It’s a shocker to me that people aren’t happy that we’re 8-3.”

With the situation weighing on his mind, Harding broke the news to his team before Thursday’s game.

“It’s disappointing,” said Seabury junior Skyler Malone, who scored 10 points in Thursday’s victory. “I enjoy playing for Scoop a lot, and it seems like he’s taught me a lot. I’ve always enjoyed talking with him and just joking around.”

Nelson confirmed Thursday night that he and Harding had discussed the matter. He also expressed appreciation for what Harding had done for the program and disappointment that things hadn’t worked out.

“I have a lot of respect for Mike Harding,” Nelson said. “And we are all thankful for the work he’s done during his three years here. Our program’s changed a little bit, and we have a winning program now. I wish him the best after the season and hope he takes us far in the playoffs.”

Harding said he planned to finish the season on the Seabury bench.

“I want to be here. I enjoy coaching here,” he said. “But if I’m not wanted, I don’t want to be here.”

As for the game itself, the Seahawks built a 30-8 first-half lead and never looked back. After letting the reserves play for most of the second quarter, Seabury led 33-17 at halftime. In the third quarter, with the starters back on the floor, Seabury used a 10-0 run — six points from Reed Grabill and four from Malone — to push the lead back above 20 points.

“We knew that this was going to be a good opportunity to get a lot of our younger guys in the game,” said Seabury senior Bill Gibbs, who led all scorers with 18 points. “It’s definitely fun to watch them out there. They don’t get too much time outside of JV, but they played a lot tonight, and I thought they played well.”

Harding agreed.

“I told the team before the game that I was going to play the young guys a lot because we’re going to need them down the stretch,” he said. “And I thought they responded.”

There was a point in the third quarter when Malone made a nifty extra pass in traffic to Grabill, who slipped behind his man and had an open path to the basket. But Grabill missed the layup. Two offensive rebounds later he finally scored, but not without hearing it from Malone, who playfully yelled, “Reed, give me that dime.”

“I had to let everyone know that he messed up my assist because he does that all the time,” Malone said with a laugh. “I think he just likes to pad his rebounding stats.”

Grabill finished with 15 points, giving the Seahawks three players in double figures. Fisher Almanza and Dan Simons each added five points, and Samuel Ohaski and Nathan Wilhelm scored two apiece. Daniel Gott led the Jackrabbits with 16.

Seabury will return to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Wetmore at home.


skinny 8 years, 2 months ago

I guess some of the parents didn't like the coach yelling at their little kiddies. Coach Manigo and now Coach Scoop, what's this world coming to??

Wait till these kids get out in the real world!

littlebird 8 years, 2 months ago

Total fail. For the first time Seabury men's basketball actually put a scare into their opponents.

"Mr. Nelson, what should we do?" said the parents who were upset that Coach Harding pushed Little Wilbur too hard. "Well. of course now that we are a winning team and successful, we should immediately sabatoge that and get rid of Coach Harding," replied Mr. Nelson. "That is the only way to guarantee our descent back into mediocrity."

The Seabury athletics motto:

Perdo Usquequaque Perdo

Losers Always Lose

roamingnome 8 years, 2 months ago

BIG loss for Seabury! Coach Harding has the best record in Lawrence right now!

Maybe the AD should hire the "parent" that complained to be the coach...that's my suggestion!!!

roamingnome 8 years, 2 months ago

Totally agree, Beobachter....

Really, Seabury...it is your loss! Karma...

Clickker 8 years, 2 months ago

The Parent that complained is out of line. Just because they think thier kid should be playing more, and they give a large amount of $$ to the school, doesnt make it right.

firebird25 8 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beawolf 8 years, 2 months ago

"Nelson informed him Wednesday that people were not happy about his coaching style "...

Who are the people and what is his coaching style? Come on LJW, how about a little investigative reporting?

kufan1214 8 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Hop2It 8 years, 2 months ago

A picture says a 1000 words, but apparently can't make up for $100,000.
At first I thought that Seabury might be a nice opportunity for some kids, now it it just looks like an opportunity to buy yourself a coach and an empty football field.

Hop2It 8 years, 2 months ago

Wow...apparently money and influence can get comments removed from the site, too.

firebird25 8 years, 2 months ago

Still cannot believe people would pay to lose...

HMcMellon 8 years, 2 months ago

I have been following Seabury basketball for four years. Scoop is loved by almost everyone, both parents and students. His enthusiasm and personality are the main reasons the team has had it first winning season.. Unfortunately, the golden rule is at work at Seabury. Those who have the gold make the rules. Decisions are often made, not on the basis of the best interests of the students, but rather on the strange whims and dictates of the major contributors.

Austin Bergstrom 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm 100% positive Coach Harding could turn around FSHS boys basketball and have them vying for the sunflower league title next year! Scoop for FSHS!!!!

Hop2It 8 years, 2 months ago

I haven't heard a bad thing yet about Coach Harding. Well except that some people "aren't happy" with his coaching style. (Apparently, some people = a particular parent on the team) Hope the school will be happy with the team not winning, either.

Who is going to want to coach at Seabury? More bad publicity for the school proves that money can't buy you everything.

Austin Bergstrom 8 years, 2 months ago

A sign of a good coach is someone who can mold good players into a winning team but a sign of a great coach is someone who can mold mediocre players(thats being generous) into a winning program. Wasn't much talent there when Scoop took over but it didn't take long for him to make an impact. Mr. Nelson should be ashamed of himself for selling out the only coach with a winning record at Seabury!

Clint Church 8 years, 2 months ago

Is there a way to find out who gives how much to the school?

HMcMellon 8 years, 2 months ago

Here is some information that might help those who cannot understand why such a seemingly crazy decision was made by the athletic director. The beautiful new classroom building at Seabury is named "Reece Hall." Reece is the surname of the grandparents of Reed Grabill, the basketball player mentioned in the article above.

Hop2It 8 years, 2 months ago

"Here is some information that might help those who cannot understand why such a seemingly crazy decision was made by the athletic director. The beautiful new classroom building at Seabury is named “Reece Hall.” Reece is the surname of the grandparents of Reed Grabill, the basketball player mentioned in the article above."

Thanks. That helps. I am also guessing that this decision was actually made by the head master/board and the athletic director just got caught in the middle.

riverdrifter 8 years, 2 months ago

Mike, apply at Baldwin High. They need a coach.

Steve Malone 8 years, 2 months ago

Strange that Scoop, who was coach of the year in 2009, could find himself being disliked and ask to leave a very successful program. Something just doesn't add up?

panther10911 8 years, 2 months ago

This is rediculous. I played for Mike Harding, he was a great coach and molded players really well. The bottom line fact is parents at seabury for example grabiil and gibbs maybe? probably didn't like the way he did things which they always seemed to complain back when i went there... I would like to see those to coach and see how well they can get the "team to mold together" its sad to see a great man like scoop go down because of two parents not liking his philosophy (which is winning?) hmmm something else is up...not sure whats going on....

kufan1214 8 years, 2 months ago

FAIL. I hope Seabury is satisfied with their decision to rid of the best coach that has ever taken part in their athletic program. Coach Harding is the most respectable, kind-hearted person I have met. It seems more difficult and out of nature for him to be mean to someone than it is to be nice and thoughtful. I wish him nothing but luck, success and bigger things in the future.


PS- Who is going to order the "parent's" coaching shirts and sweatsuit for next year?

MR_L 8 years, 2 months ago

It is really sad that he could go from "Coach Of The Year" in 2009 to "let go" thee following season.

Bishop Seabury was a joke in sports period before he showed up. Fired for being "too" good?? Those kids will only go D1 because their parents will pay through the nose.

Sad indeed!!

kansastruthteller 8 years, 2 months ago

BSA is suppose to produce young people who are not only well-educated and prepared for college, but who have core values of integrity, honesty, and compassion for others less fortunate.

Why have a school honor system? Why demand community service if the school administration is going to show by their actions that these values do not matter?

Where is the show of integrity by standing behind your coach instead of throwing him under the proverbial bus when the heat gets turned up by a couple of parents?

The children could have learned an important lesson that sometimes doing the right thing is not easy and will negatively impact you, but your character and morals are more important than taking the easy way out. Instead they learned that when life challenges, when your peers pressure you, just throw your morals aside and cave to them.

I am not well-versed in the terminology of today's youth, but I think they would classify this as "FAIL."

Steve Miller 8 years, 2 months ago

it's all about rich people buying their little kiddies a spot on the little team.. wy do think he got canned ...

Hop2It 8 years, 2 months ago

I can't believe that I once seriously considered this school a good opportunity for Lawrence. Maybe that was under the old AD and Head Master.
I thought it was sad that they weren't able to put together a girls sports teams...now I guess it probably wasn't a priority for the donors.

ku567 8 years, 2 months ago

Actually, Seabury does have a girls basketball team and just about every other girls sports program for that matter. Also in a school with 135 kids, I really don't think anyone would need to "buy their little kiddie a spot on the team." Seabury has a no cutting policy. Gibbs is a senior and since Scoop is finishing out the season it is highly unlikely that he is the reason behind this. Next time do some research before you make a ridiculous comment.

Hop2It 8 years, 2 months ago

Seabury does NOT have a girls high school junior varsity or varsity basketball team. Thus only coverage of successful boys team in the Journal World. According to the Seabury website they only have a 7th, 8th and girls 9th grade team. I went to public school, but I actually did my research.

ku567 8 years, 2 months ago

Its an all school girls team... obviously you didnt do your research. Just because the journal world doesnt report doesnt mean it doesnt exist. Actually, the girls had a game today and played right before the boys on thursday night among many other games. They are coached by Becky Bridson.

Hop2It 8 years, 2 months ago

I greatly apologize for Seabury not updating its website and allowing its boys to get coverage, but not allowing/demading equal coverage of its girls basketball team. Maybe the AD was too busy.

KansasPerson 8 years, 2 months ago

Beobachter, you obviously don't know the headmaster.

All these negative comments are just a lot of sputtering knee-jerk reactions and speculations from people who (a) don't have any idea of the backstory, (b) like to jump to conclusions about a private school being all about 'rich kids," and (c) apparently value a winning sports team above anything and everything else that could possibly be in a school.

KansasPerson 8 years, 2 months ago

For crying out loud, beobachter, even you must realize that Bishop Seabury Academy and Veritas Christian are two different schools. Is that so hard to comprehend? When you say you "know a lot of what has transpired before," are you actually talking about anything at BSA (that you actually KNOW ABOUT and not just speculate about after reading an article), or are you just remembering something at Veritas (or another school) that pissed you off, and generalizing it to ALL private schools?

You're just scrambling for things to say now, and it's obvious that you don't know anything about this situation. Also you don't know ANYTHING about the head of Bishop Seabury because if you know him AT ALL, you'd know that he'd lie down and let a truck run over him before he'd use his position to cheat or lie or act in any way that was not in the best interests of the students.

If you had any actual knowledge of the school, you would know that kids from ALL SOCIOECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS* are represented there, and that all have an equal chance on the field, the court, the stage, or wherever. In fact, because the school is small, they have a better chance of participating there than they do in a larger school.

Your last few sentences are just nonsense. If you think that Bishop Seabury kids can't "hack it in the real world," you obviously don't know any of them either.

not_that_crazy 8 years, 2 months ago

Okay KansasPerson, since you are the apologist for the institution, please tell us the real story. It is clear the perception in the community is very different.

Perception is 9/10 of reality in Lawrence, and many think that kids go Seabury because they couldn't make it at other schools....and definitely couldn't make it on their sports teams. People pay tuition to get their kids on the team, on the stage and to even get them friends. Stories like this don't help with the perception.

KansasPerson 8 years, 2 months ago

LOL! People's perceptions are often very off-base. If "many" people are so willing to display their ignorance, it's not up to me to correct them, especially when it sounds like their perceptions are largely based on envy and spite.

Go ahead and subscribe to this theory of yours, and just ignore the higher SAT scores, the better student-to-teacher ratios, the record of college admissions and merit-based scholarships, the camaraderie, and the fact that "many" (since you seem to like that word) of the best and brightest Seabury graduates have received copious amounts of financial aid during their time there. If you would take a tour and get to know the school and its people, instead of just listening to gossip and conjecture, you might learn that a lot of the kids simply do not fit the "rich-kid" stereotype you seem to intent on perpetuating.

I don't usually get upset at people's comments, but you're striking out without any facts, and it just bugs me. This "perception = reality" defense is just fear and ignorance dressed up and trying to look presentable. When a person can make their own on-site observations and get the facts for free, I simply cannot understand why they would prefer to listen to "community" scuttlebutt and base their opinions on gossip.

panther10911 8 years, 2 months ago

I know the headmaster of the school. He is a great guy and would be willing to bend over backward for his students. However, the Athletic Director is incompetent. He is at the mercy of the highest donor. And KansasPerson would you please tell us all the real story behind this? cause i think we all would like to know what really happened.

Jerryjones 8 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Homer B. Reece I bought the Cowboys so I could run the show from the Skybook. You got rid of a great coach because money talks and llama dungs walks. Mr Reece you have the money so am sure you have the time to be the coach. Your lineup could be Reece 1. Reece !!, Reece !!!, Reece 1V, and Reece V. You could build a dynasty and a legacy all at the same time. Jerry Jones

jabbachef 8 years, 2 months ago

This is so amusing to me. I went to Seabury years ago and the old coach made kids run until they threw up (a daily occurrence) and if you had to do that, or use the bathroom, you had to do it in a trash can placed in the center of the gymnasium. Of course this is years ago when Seabury was under, shall we say, different management. But it doesn't surprise me that there is still drama going on. When you have a school that small where each child is a delicate little snowflake, parents won't stand for anything. I can only assume there is a strong (i.e. rich) group of parents taking charge of most everything?

Oh Seabury, never change.

lawrence267 8 years, 2 months ago


I don't believe that you had to "use the bathroom" in a trashcan in the gym.

I like how everybody on here acts like they know the reasons that the coach was let go.

KansasPerson 8 years, 2 months ago

Thank you lawrence267.

People, when someone gets canned, you can't possibly think you're getting the whole story if you've only got one side of it -- and in this case, it's the side of the person who's being let go. It's just not realistic to think you've got all the facts.

And before one of you asks again, NO, I am not here to provide you with "the rest of the story." I don't work at the school, and If the school is taking the high road by not providing details, then you're just going to have to live with the fact that you don't know everything. Not that it'll stop some of you from airing your speculations as fact.....

tdiddy 8 years, 2 months ago

I really think this is a bad thing that has happend to such a great guy. He has done a great job with the kids there and I'm sure there are some parents who are just as shocked as the general public is. This is truly a "Lawrence thing" and those who ran the town 50 yrs ago, their legacy lives on.

lawrence267 8 years, 2 months ago

I have talked to people who are actually involved. The reason Scoop was asked to step down had nothing to do with parents. No parents talked to any school administrators about the coach. The coach is the one who decided to announce his departure to the paper before it was really decided. Everyone else wanted to wait until the end of the season to figure everything out. Now everybody can stop bashing Seabury parents for forcing the coach out with their financial influence.

DPAGE1022 8 years, 2 months ago

267, have you REALLY talked to everyone involved? Has ANYONE really talked to EVERYONE involved? Here's an idea.... get the coach, the players, and the AD in a room, and talk. PARENTS THAT PAY FOR EVERYTHING...STAY OUT!!! Ask the players how they feel. I have NEVER heard of a coach being ASKED TO RESIGN for being good. How about letting the guy DO HIS JOB!! It's working! whether your kid plays or starts, it's a team!! they are WINNING!! Is it winning, or $$$. Wait, don't answer, we can clearly see the answer!! Here's another idea, next time hire a BABYSITTER, NOT A COACH!!! GOOD LUCK GOING BACK TO BEING LOSERS, AND PAMPERED BRATS WHEN COACH HARDING MOVES ON TO CONTINUE BEING A WINNER!!!!

lawrence267 8 years, 2 months ago

Yes I did actually talk to multiple people involved. The decision had nothing to do with parents.

Austin Bergstrom 8 years, 2 months ago

lawrence267 enlighten us...why did Scoop step down? I've been to games and I can only imagine who is behind this. More than likely its the same guy who was constantly yelling at the referee at the top of his lungs for supposedly never making a right call. His voice echoed throughout the entire gym. Regardless both sides lose. BSA loses a great coach and Scoop is forced to walk away from something he really enjoyed!

DPAGE1022 8 years, 2 months ago

the question was.....did you talk to the coach AND the players TOGETHER? I think the program will suffer when Coach Harding is gone!! We'll see who gets to step in and fill his shoes.... my guess is that it will be someone very close to the people who started this whole thing!! Here's another word for you people at Seabury.....INTEGRITY!!!!

not_that_crazy 8 years, 2 months ago

I can't imagine who would want to coach there now that would be qualified. How many coaches (good and bad) have they gone through in multiple sports? In a town where only the best of the best get to compete in high school athletics, the idea and ideal of Seabury seemed on track.
If you can pay tuition, you can play basketball. Apparently, if your grandfather has enough money you can even pick the coach.

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