Get Frank Sumbera back as coach

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Coach Frank Sumbera is a legend at Grosse Pointe North. Since 1973 he has been one of the most successful coaches in Michigan high school history. How could someone like this, a pillar of the community, a leader of young men, be forced out in the twilight of his career?
Parents. Parents who are not doing any favors to their children by sheltering them from real world challenges.

Today’s youth are overly sensitive and easily offended. They often lack coping skills, have never dealt with disappointment, or have been continually sheltered from anything remotely upsetting. Why? Parents have raised them in an overprotective environment that caters to this behavior. The youth has learned that if they don’t like something, or something is too hard, just tell mommy and daddy, and they will fix it.

In East Hanover New Jersey the school recently passed a new rule that everyone that tries out makes the cheerleading squad, no one gets cut. Why? Parent complaints, just like the ones complaining to administration at GPN. Their child’s feelings get hurt temporarily (a minor setback in the big picture of life) and the parents jump to their rescue instead of using it as a learning experience. This is an example of the path that Grosse Pointe schools are headed down. First the coach, and next it will be the teachers who get fired for not giving everyone straight A’s. Why have a tough coach that pushes you towards scholarships and victories if it involves tough love when everyone can be a winner and get a trophy?

If this change does not go through, and Coach Sumbera is not allowed to coach, hopefully he can be replaced with someone that plays games, gives out cookies, juice boxes, sings songs, and high fives everyone for a job well done. Then when the team starts to lose games, and miss out on real college scholarship opportunities, they will finally learn the lesson of true disappointment. The parents cannot shelter a child forever from devastation (hint: a child not getting enough play-time in a varsity game does not count as a devastating experience).

”Un-coachable kids become un-employable adults” -Unknown

The youth today need to learn how to deal with all types of people so they can learn to adapt in the real world. If they are having a tough time with a coach, teacher, or fellow teammate they need to develop the skills to work through that challenge ON THEIR OWN without having a parent step in at the first sign of struggle. A parent should coach them on what to say, or on “how to play the game of life” from the side lines. Learning to navigate tough situations now while they have parental support to turn to before entering the real world is the true lesson parents should be teaching. You won’t be able to fire a demanding boss at work, or a superior who gives you a tough time. And you can’t cry to mommy and daddy if your feelings get hurt when you’re working in a salaried 9-5 career.


If you believe Coach Sumbera deserves to coach again, or if you are truly disgusted that a couple disgruntled parents complaining about “unfair” treatment (meaning their child got some constructive criticism, or in their eyes not enough play-time) could get a respected employee of the district fired, sign this petition. This is a sad day, and a turning point for the Grosse Pointe School District, and it should not go unacknowledged. Time to speak up before this happens to anyone else.

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