Buddy Wood resigns position as teacher at Rockland High School; Contract of veteran coach was not going to be renewed for 2002-03

This story was published on April 16, 2002 on Page C4 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

Donald “Buddy” Wood, the Rockland boys basketball coach who also teaches at the school and coaches the varsity baseball team, resigned last week from his teaching position at the high school.

SAD 5 school board chairwoman Julie Raye confirmed that the school board had received a letter of resignation from Wood.

Wood, who spent 22 years coaching and teaching at Washington Academy in East Machias before going to Rockland, submitted his resignation Thursday. But in a regularly scheduled school board that night he told the board members he wanted to rescind the resignation.

Raye said she wasn’t sure if that was possible because she has “never seen it happen before.”

The school board was not set to vote Thursday on staff recommendations for the 2002-03 school year. That will be done at next month’s board meeting.

Raye would not discuss circumstances surrounding Wood’s resignation, including some allegations in story that appeared in the April 12 issue of the Courier Gazette, a weekly newspaper in Rockland.

“I think it’s all been said and for the sake of my son I don’t want it to go on any more,” she said. “… I think a lot of that was cleared up in the Courier-Gazette article.”

According to that story, Raye said she does not like Wood because of his treatment of her son, who was cut from the basketball team, but that her personal feelings have not led her to make an effort to see Wood fired. She would vote for him if he is recommended to be rehired by the principal and superintendent, she told the Courier-Gazette.

Wood told the newspaper that Rockland principal Michael Gundel told him prior to the resignation that his teaching contract was not going to be renewed for next year but that Rockland would give him a good reference for another teaching job.

Wood did not return phone messages Monday. Gundel and superintendent of schools Donald Kanicki also did not return calls.

Wood was in his second year teaching at the school and wrapped up his second season coaching the Tiger basketball team.

But he’s best known for the 22 years he spent teaching and coaching basketball and baseball for the Raiders of East Machias.

Wood left that position under fairly similar circumstances. In June 2000 the Washington Academy board of trustees voted to eliminate his physical education teaching position, which forced him to resign his coaching posts because without the teaching salary it was not financially viable to continue as a coach.

Wood was hired by Rockland in July 2000. He replaced Larry Terrio, who had resigned earlier that year after 20 seasons because the team struggled with on- and off-court problems that caused dissention.

Milk Mustache contest open

If you’re a high school student-athlete, and you’ve ever wanted to play basketball with an NBA player, appear in ESPN The Magazine and wear one of those funny milk mustaches, and you are about to complete your freshman year, then you’re eligible to enter the 2002 Milk Mustache Hometown Rookie of the Year Contest.

Entries must be received by June 14, 2002. Forms are available at www.whymilk.com. Entries will be judged based on high school sports accomplishments and the role milk plays in the applicant’s athletic lifestyle.

The grand prizewinner will win a trip to the Milk House at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. to star in a milk mustache add that will run in ESPN The Magazine. The winner will also get to play basketball with rookie Shane Battier of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Jessica Bloch’s High School Report is published each Tuesday. She can be reached at 990-8193 or jbloch@bangordailynews.net