Sport

They’ve asked, but...

Danny Hawthorne confirms KC interest

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 22, 2014    

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VETERAN coach Danny Hawthorne of St Jago High has confirmed that he has been offered the pressurised vacant track and field head coach position at Kingston College (KC).

However, he was quick to point out that he has not made a decision yet.

"I came back in the island last night (Tuesday) and I have been bombarded with questions. Yes, I have been offered the position, but as it stands, I am still at St Jago," he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

On Sunday the Observer broke the story that Orville Byfield was dismissed by KC and that a "name brand" coach will be selected to lead the famed purples.

Impeccable Observer sources had revealed that discussions with Hawthorne and KC have been ongoing, but the St Jago man was a bit hesitant, considering that he has been a teacher at the Monk Street school for decades.

"I have been approached and I have not made a decision. I have not met with them (KC) as a group," he noted.

However, it is understood that the lure of coaching the most successful schoolboy team in the island might be too much to resist, despite his relative success at St Jago.

There is also a belief on the ground that Hawthorne's imminent arrival at KC would be two-fold in that they would be getting one of the best coaches in the island plus several top athletes from that Spanish Town school in their bid to wrestle the title away from arch rivals Calabar High.

Hawthorne rose to prominence when he coached Nicole Mitchell to capture the 100m gold at the IAAF World Junior Championships in 1992.

He has since seen his charges Yohan Blake and Martin Manley win world senior and junior titles in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

He has also been head coach of national youth teams in the past and would replace the embattled Byfield who was accused at the prestigious Penn Relays by one of his assistant coaches Raymond 'KC' Graham of meddling, being a bully and acting like a dictator.

In April, Graham, the coach responsible for relays and hurdles, hit hard at Byfield after they finished a disappointing fifth in the 4x100m relays at Penn Relays.

Graham accused Byfield of being a bully and that he tampered with his relay team, went behind his back and made changes that cost the school victory.

But Byfield dismissed Graham's attack as "emotional" and that there "was no basis" for the attack and said it was the relays coach who wanted to go against the decisions of the coaching panel in Philadelphia.

Byfield had also rubbished the accusation that he acts like a dictator. "If I am a person who works in a collective way, if we make decisions collectively, how is it then that I am a dictator?"

But last week Wednesday Byfield was sacked by the school's administration after taking over the technical director and head coaching position at his alma mater, just last year.

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