High school coach wins $50,000 settlement in lawsuit against parents who got him fired


Mark Storm coached baseball, basketball, softball and soccer for 31 years at Honeoye Central High School in New York until 2015 when a group of parents banded together and got him fired. The parents wrote letters to the Rochester-based school, alleging that Storm was the reason players didn't go out for teams, Storm had a drinking problem, and he verbally abused the players. Last month, Storm agreed to a $50,000 settlement with the parents who wrote the letters after suing them for defamation in retaliation.

Storm, who was also a teacher at Honeoye for 29 years, lost the vote to get his varsity basketball coaching job back months after his firing. The Honeoye Board of Education voted against the reinstatement 5-2. He retaliated by suing the parents for defamation. In the initial lawsuit, Storm was seeking $150,000 in damages.

For Storm, the lawsuit appeared to be just as much about sending a message to parents that leverage coaches out of positions as it was about the money.

"My hope is people will at least start to think about what they're saying, think about what they do before they send that email," he said of the lawsuit, via The Democrat and Chronicle.

Indeed, parents go to great lengths to get high school coaches fired, often without repercussions. Take the woman last month -- also in New York -- that had a flyover ad calling for two Briarcliff baseball coaches to be fired during a playoff game.

It's clear that the lawsuit was as much about his peers as himself. "Enough is enough," he said. "I wanted to do something for other coaches."

When Storm was asked if he'd return to Honeoye by The Democrat and Chronicle, he said: "For all the years I was there, and then to be thrown out like I was bathwater — I think I would need an apology."

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