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The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

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Chaparral Baseball’s Head Coach Fired

After 11 years of coaching COD Baseball, head coach Bobby Wilson announced on his social media that he had been fired.
Rachel Wagner

College of DuPage Baseball Head Coach Bobby Wilson was officially fired this week after six seasons as head baseball coach and 11 years with the program.

Wilson didn’t return with the team from their Myrtle Beach trip between March 2 and March 7, and neither did assistant coaches Tyler Fletcher and Steven Salvino. COD was supposed to play two doubleheaders on the 15th and 16th of March, but those four games were postponed without explanation. The team hosted one practice between returning from Myrtle Beach and playing their first game on March 19. They lost 15-3 in seven innings, and these three absences became apparent after the team took the field for their postgame speech.

Screenshot of Bobby Wilson’s X post with full typed-out statement. The post was made at 10:24 a.m. on April 22.

The team continued to play without half their coaching staff, and the lineups would change almost every game. At nearly every home game, there were different players seen out of uniform keeping unexplained distance from the field. Assistant baseball coach Matt Gould has been leading the team since their return from Myrtle Beach, but he refused to comment on Wilson’s absence.

The administration didn’t release any statements about the disappearances of Wilson, Fletcher or Salvino. After denying the Courier’s requests to speak with someone from COD athletics, Assistant Athletic Director Kelsey Plefka referred the Courier to the college’s Marketing Department, which offered the following statement in an email on April 17:

“The College of DuPage Men’s Baseball team is currently operating under the direction of the assistant coaching staff while Head Coach Bobby Wilson is on leave,” wrote Jennifer Duda, senior manager of the COD News Bureau.

The Courier reached out for a statement from Wilson on April 17 after the Marketing Department commented on the situation and received no response. The Courier reached out again on April 22 after hearing from people associated with the team that Wilson would not return to the team. Wilson gave the following statement in a text message to the Courier:

“Effective today I am no longer the head coach.”

Wilson didn’t respond to any further questioning, but released this statement on April 22 to his public X, formerly Twitter account:

“Thank you for everyone that has reached out to me and checked in on me. I am realizing how tight our community is and I greatly appreciate it,” Wilson wrote. “I have been relieved of my duties as head baseball coach. I put everything I had into this program for the last 11 years as a head coach and assistant coach. I gave everything I had to my student athletes each and everyday.

“At this time l wanted to apologize, I failed to lead the program in a way that I was supposed to lead it,” Wilson continued. “This will haunt me forever as I not only let myself down, my family down but most of all the current players and the administration down. I want to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and coach baseball. To my former coaches thank you for standing with me every bit of the way. 11 years ago I walked on the field and had no idea what to expect, I learned quick that this was more then just baseball it was about giving opportunities to young men to better themselves and get degrees. I want to wish everyone the best moving forward! -BW”

Wilson has since been removed from the official 2024 team roster on the website run by COD Athletics. Gould is still listed as an assistant coach. He joined the team in the 2023 season.

Until the program finds a new head coach, the team will be led by Gould and other remaining assistant coaches Pat Leahy and Jake Roberts.

Neither the athletic department nor the college has provided any explanation for the ongoing number of baseball players not dressing for or appearing in the lineups or dugout during games.

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  • AlxyzApr 23, 2024 at 9:59 am

    This article raises more questions than it answers. What was the win loss record for his tenure as coach? Why is he so apologetic for what is not unusual occurrence for a coach in sports. Why does the COD news bureau say that he is “on leave”?

    • NickApr 23, 2024 at 12:47 pm

      Seems like a developing story where key details haven’t been put out in the public’s purview yet. I’d check back here for any updates.

    • mike diverApr 29, 2024 at 9:16 am

      Whatever the causes of the situation at COD baseball, the failure to be fully open makes the college look bad.