by Tom Brown
Rob Kettle, head coach for Benedictine University’s Men’s Soccer team, was forced to resign last week after five seasons as the Eagles Head Coach, according to an email sent to his players.
Mark McHorney, director of athletics, declined to comment on reasons for Kettle’s departure.
According to an email sent to the BenU Men’s Soccer Team by Kettle, he stated that he was instructed to see McHorney in his office last Thursday.
“I went in and Mark just said that he wanted my resignation effective immediately. No reasons were given, but it was made clear that resigning was my only option,” Kettle stated in the email.
“He told me to clear my office, return keys etc and leave,” Kettle continued. “Mark told me I could not contact any of you until he had a team meeting.”
Kettle said that he would not be able to comment on the situation until speaking with his attorney, but reiterated that his resignation was not a choice and that it was the only option given to him by McHorney.
McHorney declined to comment on Kettle’s resignation, saying that “the university doesn’t comment on personnel concerns.”
News of Kettle’s resignation was brought to the BenU players in a meeting Thursday night led by McHorney.
Junior defender Bobby Withington was at the meeting with McHorney, and immediately noticed something unusual.
“Usually [McHorney] is very detailed and talks you through things, but tonight he was very brief and to the point, which made me think that something weird was going on,” Withington said.
According to Team Captain Izzy Castro, McHorney told the players at the Thursday meeting that if the assistant coaches wanted to continue coaching, they would have to “re-apply”.
“I am more than willing to be a part of the BenU soccer program going forward, but it would have to be the right opportunity,” said Assistant Coach Jason Maestas. “As of this current moment, I would be embarrassed to represent this University and its Athletic Administration.”
“Personally, I don’t think my coach deserves to be forced to resign,” Castro said. “Before he got here, we were not good and now we made the playoffs two straight years.”
“Overall, it’s a sad day,” said junior defender Creighton Goss. “BenU let go of a great coach who contributed to a great program.”
“I just don’t see the reason why they would let go of somebody who has done so much for the program,” sophomore forward Andrew Coniff said.
“[Kettle] was a great guy. He was a joy to be around, not only as a coach, but as a person,” Withington added. “He was the greatest coach that a player could ask for.”
Contributions to this story were made by Luke Stanczyk, Sports Editor