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Doug Fraser

Queensbury head coach Doug Fraser calls out to his players on the court during a game in the Section II Boys Basketball Tournament against Scotia. Fraser has not been reappointed as coach for the 2019-20 school year and the district is actively seeking a replacement. 

QUEENSBURY — Queensbury High School is looking for a new basketball coach after Doug Fraser’s 11 seasons in charge of the Spartans.

The decision to replace him left Fraser confused, and he spoke publicly about his frustrations at last month’s school board meeting.

He voiced disappointment about the district’s process in deciding not to renew him for the position. Parents of team members had voiced concerns, but he was never given the opportunity to address them or make changes, he said.

“I made clear to Dr. Huntley and Rich Keys of my willingness to comply and participate in a balanced plan to meet their standards,” Fraser said at the board meeting. “What is most imperative to note is the fact I was never given an opportunity to adhere to these recommendations.”

Community members and coaches from other districts voiced support for Fraser at the school board meeting last month, according to minutes from the meeting.

Fraser’s longtime assistant coach and former junior varsity coach Bobby Rodriguez said he thought Fraser made his expectations known early, and they were not unfair or overly intense.

“From day one, he hands out an expectation sheet to all the boys and he makes it crystal-clear what he expects,” Rodriguez said. “Coach is very passionate about basketball and always has been. He plans his practices, his scouting meetings thoroughly. He’s a perfectionist about that.”

The Spartans are coming off an even .500 season with 12 wins and 12 losses, and district Superintendent Doug Huntley confirmed they are actively seeking a replacement for next season.

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Since it’s a personnel matter, Huntley said, he is not permitted to discuss details about the decision publicly.

“What I can say is that we’re accepting applications and when we have an applicant and we’re ready to forward I’ll make the recommendation to the board,” Huntley said.

The district is looking both internally and externally for a replacement, but the preference is always to hire someone within the district, he said.

“It helps with communication. It helps with knowing the students well and of course they’re on the same schedule,” he said.

A few teaching positions are open in the district as well and, ideally, the school would be able to hire someone who could serve as a teacher and coach.

Fraser said he was unsure why he was let go. His results have been solid and his coaching goes beyond the court, he said.

“I’ve worked extremely hard to shape these kids to be successful way beyond high school.”

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Samuel Northrop is the education reporter for The Post-Star. He can be reached at snorthrop@poststar.com.

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