That’s All She Wrote… Mennig Out at STM

Here is the timeline and stories that occurred…..


Mennig out at STM
Fri, 04/11/2014 – 4:26pm | The News-Gazette

Chris Mennig coached the St. Thomas More girls’ basketball team to a Class 2A state championship on March 1.

He won’t get the chance to duplicate those efforts next season.

The former Illinois women’s basketball assistant coach is apparently out as the Sabers’ coach.

“Mr. Mennig is no longer an employee of St. Thomas More,” STM Principal Ryan Bustle said.

Bustle declined further comment on the matter and wouldn’t elaborate on the situation.

Voicemails and text messages left with Mennig seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Mennig led STM to a 33-2 record this past season before the Sabers became the first-ever Champaign County high school to win a girls’ basketball state title.

Mennig compiled a 197-51 record during eight seasons with the Sabers.

He didn’t coach STM during the 2011-12 season, taking a year off from coaching STM to fill an assistant coaching role at Arizona State.

Mennig, who was an assistant at Illinois for two seasons under Theresa Grentz from 2003-05, helped coach a bevy of talent at STM, including Tori McCoy, drawing criticism from public schools in the process.

McCoy is ranked by some recruiting services as the second-best prospect in the Class of 2016 and is the most recent News-Gazette All-Area Player of the Year along with being a First Team All-State selection.

She finished fourth in the state in voting for this year’s Ms. Basketball.

Guard Randa Harshbarger is bound for Southern Indiana next season and was the N-G’s selection for All-Area Player of the Year after the 2012-13 season.

That season saw Mennig guide STM to a 32-3 record and a second-place finish in Class 2A.

The number of wins the 2012-13 team achieved was a school record, only to be eclipsed this past season.

Due to recent IHSA rule, STM will compete next year in Class 3A because of its recent success in 2A.

Mennig works as a national evaluator for Blue Star Basketball, a women’s college basketball recruiting service, and is an event coordinator for US Junior Nationals.


Kroner: McCoys will stick with STM

Fri, 04/11/2014 – 9:02pm | Fred Kroner

CHAMPAIGN — St. Thomas More is currently without a girls’ basketball head coach.
After five days of rumor and innuendo, that announcement was made by Ryan Bustle, the high school principal, on Friday, with his succinct one-sentence statement: “Mr. (Chris) Mennig is no longer an employee of St. Thomas More.”
Bustle wouldn’t answer any additional questions or offer any insight to the reasons for the departure.
Mennig, who has an eight-year record of 197-51 at STM, has been unavailable for comment.
When no one from either side reveals details, it leads to widespread speculation. It’s easy to think the worst. It’s probably natural to think the worst.
After all, how often is a person who directed a basketball team to consecutive state championship-game appearances, and 65 wins during the past two seasons, summarily dismissed?
As a matter of fact, it happened in our area nearly 20 years ago. Remembering that case should lead to one conclusion about this one. Hold off on the judgment of what many consider the inevitable: that Mennig is guilty of an infraction or an impropriety.
No recruiting
Here are the facts, as we know them at this moment. No police charges have been filed. No warrants have been issued. No one has stepped forward with an accusation of any misdeed or misconduct.
If there was an investigation, as some sources have suggested, it has not been publicly acknowledged.
If Mennig is guilty of something today, he will be equally guilty in a month. Or six weeks.
We should learn facts before we castigate someone who has helped change the face of girls’ basketball in our area, before we permanently tarnish the reputation of someone who has worked tirelessly to make St. Thomas More into a state power in his sport.
One of the stories circulating on social media sites is that Mennig was involved in recruiting Tori McCoy — one of the nation’s premier sophomores — to St. Thomas More.
The person who should know says that is 100 percent false.
“That was not the case at all,” Tim McCoy said. “It has nothing to do with recruitment. My daughter has been telling me about some of the wild accusations. It has nothing to do with my family. It has nothing to do with anything inappropriate.
“I am surprised (at the dismissal). To my understanding, there are things he is going through in his personal life and what the dioceses felt were some things that could affect him and his work at St. Thomas More. In my understanding, once things are cleared, there is a possibility he could maybe get his job back. If he cannot get his job back, I’d be heartbroken, I’d hate to see him go.”
No matter who is coaching the Sabers in 2015, Tim McCoy said his daughters Tori (a junior-to-be) and Madison (a sophomore-to-be) will still be at the school.
“They will remain fixtures and will graduate from St. Thomas More, whether or not Chris comes back,” Tim McCoy said.
Deja vu?
On the surface, there are possible parallels to Mennig’s situation and what happened to Sullivan head coach Scott Thomas nearly two decades ago. In that instance, Thomas faced criminal charges, stemming from a theft, which he vehemently denied.
When it came time for the trial, the courtroom was filled with people who wanted to distinguish fiction from fact. Not only was Thomas exonerated but the evidence showed that on the date of the alleged theft, he was hundreds of miles away.
He was not guilty in a court of law but condemned to the reality that public opinion had rendered its opinion on him months before when the charges were levied. To this day, there are people who don’t remember the acquittal.
Thomas, who was relieved of his coaching duties when the charges were filed, never coached another game. A person who outworked his contemporaries, who was a master of the X’s and O’s, who was a sure-fire Hall of Famer, will likely never be inducted and given his rightful recognition.
While there are similarities between Thomas and Mennig, we should learn from the past. Reserve judgment until we know more than speculation and hearsay. The facts will speak for themselves, when they have the opportunity.


Mennig: ‘I’m looking forward to shedding … light’

Thu, 05/08/2014 – 2:33pm | Fred Kroner

CHAMPAIGN — St. Thomas More’s search for a girls’ basketball head coach is in progress.

The school posted the vacancy on its website this week although principal Ryan Bustle said “no cutoff date (for accepting resumes)) is listed.”

The opening occurred last month when the school parted ways with Chris Mennig, who guided the Sabers to the Class 2A state championship in March and a title-game appearance in 2013.

Mennig was relieved of duties on April 11, but  neither the former coach nor school administrators have discussed reasons for the departure.

On Thursday, Mennig said, “at the advice of attorneys, I have to reserve comment, but I’m looking forward to shedding more light on this in the near future.”

Bustle said he has received “quite a few phone calls,” about the position and has resumes in hand from “four or five, ” adding, “it’s a very appealing position.”

As of Thursday afternoon, no assistants from last year’s staff had applied.

“It would be ideal if we didn’t get into June without a basketball coach,” said Bustle, who is coordinating the search along with STM athletic director Dan Hennessey. “Our first priority is to graduate our senior class next week (on May 18th).”

Bustle said he has “no preference” on whether the next coach is a man or a woman, but he said first-time coaches need not apply.

“Definitely experience is what we’re looking for, especially with the level of talent the coach will inherit,” Bustle said. “Experience and understanding of our mission.”

One of STM’s top returnees is rising junior Tori McCoy, who is regarded as one of the nation’s top prep players in the Class of 2016.

Many summer leagues and tournaments have already started finalizing their fields, but Bustle said STM has no one in place on an interim basis to schedule events for the team this offseason.

St. Thomas More has at least two teaching positions open, but Bustle said, “we’re not necessarily looking to tie them in (to coaching).”

The last school day for St. Thomas More’s underclassmen is May 23.

“If we could make an announcement then, or the following week, that would be a good time frame for us,” Bustle said.


Mennig reapplies for STM job

Wed, 05/14/2014 – 10:04pm | Fred Kroner

CHAMPAIGN — Chris Mennig hopes the former St. Thomas More girls’ basketball coach will be the school’s next coach.

In a Tuesday email sent to past and current players and their families — a document forwarded to The News-Gazette — Mennig confirmed he has reapplied for the position.

“I have formally submitted my application to principal Ryan Bustle, athletic director Dan Hennessey and Father Lampitt on Friday,” he wrote. “At the time I was released, the Diocese reportedly stated that ‘if it is all just smoke, we will talk to him’ about reinstatement. We reached out last week and had a positive connection with the Diocese about the situation and learned that they will be listening to Ryan/Dan’s feedback on this situation.”

Mennig sent the email even though he noted, “As you can imagine, my attorneys would prefer I speak about this as little as possible. However, I want you to know a few things.”

Mennig, who has not spoken publicly since STM severed ties with him last month, provided insight into a federal investigation.

“This investigation is nothing new,” Mennig wrote in the email. “It started before my going out to Arizona State back in 2011 (on a one-year leave of absence), and the Diocese was aware of this investigation at that point in time. They also were aware then and remain aware now that this investigation has absolutely nothing to do with St. Thomas More, our program, players, etc.

“This is a financial-based investigation. I sent some cash back home with my parents when they were flying home to NY, and when authorities discovered they had the cash, it caused an inquiry. This is what initially triggered the investigation. The FBI was involved, and no one seemed to believe that girls’ basketball could or should be generating significant amounts of revenue.

“After they finally realized the legitimate source of the revenues, the investigation shifted to an IRS inquiry for the past couple of years. As they looked into the purchase of my home, they also saw cash being used for the purchase and that raised additional questions, apparently because they were unaware that money had been gifted to me from my boss (from Blue Star).”

During his recent weeks of silence, Mennig said he was touched by the amount of support he received, both from within and outside of the STM community.

“The slew of heart felt emails, texts, calls over the past month have been incredibly touching,” he wrote. “Means more than you all know. So many alumni have texted me stories of growth, and thanks. I have had the support of the college coaching community, as well as those in strong powers of influence in the grassroots community (AAU, ESPN, etc.) so I’m hopeful that those sitting in the decision-making seats allow us to keep making memories for future female student-athletes, and to keep developing strong character in them.

“I personally have no ill will to the Diocese or St. Thomas More, as I believe their instincts are to protect the students/families/church. But, hopefully, we are now in a position to move forward in a positive fashion. My hope is that after reflection on all of the facts, we can continue on our journey together and put the ‘train back on the tracks.’”

When reached by phone Wednesday night, Mennig declined to elaborate but confirmed the contents of the email were sent by him and were not a hoax.

Mennig’s last two STM teams won 65 of 70 games and reached the Class 2A state championship game in back-to-back years, winning the title in March. He was first hired to coach at St. Thomas More in 2005. In 22 years of coaching, Mennig has been on the sidelines for 595 games.



UPDATED: Jay Price lands STM job
Wed, 05/21/2014 – 12:55pm | Fred Kroner

CHAMPAIGN — It worked once.

St. Thomas More is returning to the pattern it followed the last time a girls’ basketball head coach was hired. The school selected someone with college experience.

Right hire? Let Tom Kacich know here

Principal Ryan Bustle confirmed Wednesday afternoon that former UI men’s assistant Jay Price will be the Sabers’ next head coach. He inherits a team that has appeared in consecutive Class 2A state championship games, winning the title in March with three underclassmen starters.

Price spent 10 years as an assistant at Purdue, where he was the recruiting coordinator. He joined the Illini in 2004 and remained through 2012, when the UI parted ways with Bruce Weber and Price was also relieved of duties.

Mennig ’emotionally hurt’

Wed, 05/21/2014 – 9:18pm | Fred Kroner

CHAMPAIGN — Chris Mennig and St. Thomas More had a storybook season that ended with a state championship.

Mennig is now dealing with another ending. Less than a week after he confirmed he had reapplied for the girls’ basketball head coaching position, he learned that the school had gone in a different direction with the hiring of former UI men’s assistant Jay Price.

The now former coach is appreciative of his time at the school and sad that his tenure is over.

“I would like to personally acknowledge and thank former principal Tim Millage and athletic director Dan Hennessey for allowing me the opportunity nine years ago to embark on this journey at STM,” Mennig said. “I truly felt we had just gotten our ‘train to a full head of steam’ and now it will be going down a new set of tracks. Kevin Sullivan of my staff said it best, ‘This wasn’t your job. It was your hobby, your love.’

“Anyone that has a hobby they love taken away from them is going to be emotionally hurt, and that is where I stand at this present juncture.”

As for what’s in his future, Mennig said, “I have been on a sideline for 22 straight years, ever since I was a sophomore in college. We’ll see if my phone rings, but I feel this is God’s way of telling me to take a break and smell the roses a little bit. It was a good run that ended with greatness. I’m sure that I will find my way back on to a basketball court again someday, but until that time, I think I’m going to spend my winter working on my ‘short game’ for the first time.”

When Mennig spent his first year at STM as the co-coach with Bill Dreher in 2005-06 the school was two years removed from a 7-18 season and had never won as much as a regional title.

“Anyone that has ever stood on a sideline always hopes that the program is in better place from the start of their time to the conclusion,” Mennig said. “I am very proud of the success through the years that this program has accomplished and will always look back on it with great fondness.

As for his successor at STM, Mennig said, “I have no ill will towards Jay, but would prefer not to comment any further.”

Price is thankful for the foundation that has been established within the girls’ program.

“I’m grateful that Coach Mennig built it so well,” Price said. “I’ll try to continue the success they’ve had.”

Next year’s senior class will try to become the first in school history with four successive regional and sectional championships in the sport.


Former STM coach dishes on departure

Thu, 09/25/2014 – 10:28pm | Fred Kroner

LAWRENCEVILLE — Chris Mennig is back in the business of coaching basketball.
Less than six months after he was dismissed as head coach of the state champion St. Thomas More girls’ basketball program, Mennig was hired by the Lawrenceville Board of Education on Wednesday to fill an assistant’s position on the staff of first-year girls’ basketball coach Chelsea Buher.
Buher is a Lawrenceville graduate. The school has not won a regional title since she played, in 2007, and was a News-Gazette All-State first-teamer.
“From a basketball standpoint, it is a fun opportunity to help her implement something that is near and dear to her heart,” Mennig said. “We will be working together throughout the season.”
Mennig remains miffed at the circumstances that led to his ouster at STM.
“Last spring before I was dismissed, I was informed by an STM administrator that they found no wrongdoing after questioning various present, past, future players and parents, yet they still chose not to allow me to continue,” he said.
Especially curious, he said, is that the FBI/IRS investigation that became public knowledge in the spring was the same one that had begun prior to Mennig’s return from a one-year sabbatical in the fall of 2012.
“It was unfortunate,” he said. “Many were not aware that when I returned from Arizona State, we learned that the school and Peoria Diocese were fully aware of my investigation and that it had nothing to do with the school, players, etc. The school and Diocese chose to let me return and continue to build the program for the next two years, culminating in our state title.
“This spring, they chose to react, despite knowing full well that this was the same investigation that had nothing to do with the school and players.”
Mennig plans on commuting from his home in Savoy to Lawrenceville, when possible, but will rent an apartment in Lawrenceville where he can stay when weather conditions prevent the return trip.
He is looking at the coaching job as a temporary stop.
“It’s a one-year situation in hopes that I’ll be able to return somewhere up here,” he said.
Mennig continues to work for Blue Star Basketball as a national evaluator and event coordinator, which has been his full-time job, and said there has been no fallout from the situation at St. Thomas More.
“It was a sad series of unfortunate events in which a few administrators chose to react,” Mennig said. “As I said to STM at that time, ‘If McDonald’s All-American was getting rid of me, if Gatorade discontinued using me as a consultant, if college coaches and national evaluators stopped coming to my tournaments across the country, I would understand.’
“Exile me away and ban me from the sport, but this is the only little bubble in the country that is trying to discredit everything I’ve done.”
Mennig is thankful for the opportunity to continue coaching the sport he loves, even if it is at a school more than two hours southeast (129 miles) of Champaign.
“What became even more hurtful personally was to see at least four girls’ basketball openings in our backyard (Champaign Central, St. Thomas More, Unity and Urbana) and not be contacted by one school,” Mennig said. “My wife (Erika) and I would very much like to stay in this community, as nearly all of her family is from the C-U area.
“Since we do want to stay here, I feel the only way I can prove to everyone in this area that I’m not a detriment to society, and that schools and students are not at any risk, is to have me on a sideline. My hope is to prove to the area here at home that it is not a risk to put me in a basketball gym.
“I can’t be more thankful to Lawrenceville for giving me the opportunity to do what I have been doing for the past 21 seasons: help teach the game and build strength and character in young women that will help them for a lifetime.
“I’m thankful that a school was willing to look at my body of work and not get caught up in all the other stuff that has nothing to do with me impacting young women.”
Mennig said the upcoming season will be a stressful one for him.
“Obviously, this is not the ideal situation with my wife and I just having our first child this month, but we agreed that if this is an option, we will take it,” he said. “We feel it is necessary to hopefully open a door and the eyes and minds of those here in Champaign-Urbana so that I can be on a sideline somewhere closer to home in the near future.
“It is a bittersweet decision as I will be away from home for a large amount of time, but make no mistake I will be committed to Lawrenceville and helping them put together the building blocks for a strong future behind Coach Buher’s leadership. It’s not the sunny weather of Arizona, but hopefully I will make an impact on the girls of Lawrenceville and the hearts of those close to the game.”
Basketball practice for girls’ teams in the state starts on Nov. 3.

میز اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری تبلیغات کلیکی میز تلویزیون پاراگلایدر آگهی رایگان محسن چاوشی دانلود آهنگ جدید خرید اینترنتی عکس بازیگران