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A bitter end to his St Jago reign ... Hawthorne opens up after move to Wolmer's

Published:Saturday | June 25, 2016 | 6:00 AMRaymond Graham
Hawthorne

Veteran coach Danny Hawthorne pointed to abuse and a bitter relationship with sections of the St Jago past student body as reasons for his departure from the school, as he gets ready to take over the reigns at Wolmer's in September.

Hawthorne, who was in charge of St Jago's boys track and field team for the past 13 years, toured the Heroes Circle - based institution's facility on Thursday, where he met with the principal, members of the physical education, staff and several members of the boys' track and field team.

It had been rumoured for the past several weeks that Hawthorne was in dispute with several members of the St Jago past student body who felt that he was not doing enough to win a title for the institution.

 

TOUGH DECISION

 

The coach admitted that it was a hard decision but said that the situation at St Jago had become unbearable.

"It is hard after being at St Jago for nearly 20 years, where I first started as a football coach to get up and leave like that ... but sometimes a change is inevitable because of what is happening," Hawthorne said. "Even though I would have liked to stay, things were getting acrimonious as some of the past students were getting bitter and unfriendly and were not kind in their words.

"They were also abusive and when it reached this stage, I thought it was best for me to call it quits and move to a place where I will be more appreciated," said Hawthorne, who noted that he was contacted by several schools.

The coach said that when he was contacted by Wolmer's, he had not yet given thought to leaving St Jago despite word making the rounds that he was close to an exit.

He is convinced he has made the right choice and is looking forward to working hard to bring title success to the Wolmerians, who last lifted the Mortimer Geddes trophy in 2010.

"Wolmer's Boys is the right choice, and I am hoping when I go there, I will be working hard as usual to ensure that I am successful," he said.

Hawthorne, who was recently named as the head coach for Jamaica's team to the World Under-20 Championships, thanked St Jago principals Keith Noel, Sandra Swyer-Watson and new head mistress Collette Feurtado-Pryce, with whom he has worked, noting that the latter fought hard to keep him at the school.

 

HITTING TARGETS

 

He is, however, focusing on achieving his targets at his new school.

"I think, and know, that I am a good coach, and I know what I am about, and all I am asking of you is to give me all the support that I am going to need and not only verbal, but also spiritual and financial and other resources, and I am confident if these things happen, I can get you great results," he promised.

Hawthorne has helped to shape the careers of several of Jamaica's brightest talents including Yohan Blake, Nickel Ashmeade, Nathon Allen, and Raheem Chambers.