Catawba County Schools decline comment,
citing change as a personnel matter
By CHRIS HOBBS
CATAWBA – Adam Dutka, head boys’ basketball coach at Bandys High for the last four seasons, will not return to guide the Trojans next season.
Multiple sources have told HobbsDailyReport.com Dutka – a non-faculty head coach – was informed this week that the school has decided to go in a different direction.
On Wednesday afternoon (March 13), the Bandys athletic department confirmed it will seek a new head boys’ varsity basketball coach for next season but declined further comment.
Dutka, responding to an email from HobbsDailyReport.com sent after the school confirmed it is making a change, said he had no comment at this time.
Both the varsity boys’ basketball job and the head volleyball coaching job, held the last four seasons by Dutka’s wife, Erin, were posted as open positions by the Catawba County Schools (CCS).
Both Dutkas were hired as non-faculty head coaches.
The Bandys athletic department referred all other questions to the CCS.
On Wednesday morning (March 20), Crystal Davis — the school system’s attorney — said via email CCS will decline comment about coaching changes at Bandys, citing personnel laws.
Davis said non-faculty coaches serve as at-will employees and termination decisions involving those type employees can be made by the CCS superintendent (or administrators) without discussions or approval of the Catawba County Board of Education.
Hires in the CCS are made via board approval after the superintendent recommends them, but principals decide the persons assigned to coach sports at their schools.
Adam Dutka’s four Bandys teams went 8-18, 7-16, 15-11 and 10-13, and his last two teams reached the state 2A playoffs to give the Trojans back-to-back postseason bids for the first time since 2008-2009 and 2009-10.
Bandys went 5-9 in the South Fork 2A this season, finishing sixth, and earned a No 30 seed into the West 2A bracket before falling 79-66 at No. 3 Shelby.
Adam Dukta was hired after Jason Barnes left the boys’ job after the 2014-15 team went 1-22.
The next hire will give the Trojans their eighth boys’ head coach in 16 seasons.
Only one other coach – current Lincoln Charter head coach Brad Gabriel – has coached the Bandys boys for at least four seasons since Aron Gabriel, now superintendent of the Newton-Conover City Schools, was head coach for six years starting in 1997-98.
The Trojans, who were a state power for about two decades (early 1970s through 1990), have had a losing record in 24 of the last 27 years.
Bandys went 18-9 under Aron Gabriel in 2000-01, 15-12 under Brad Gabriel in 2009-10 and Dutka’s third team (2017-18) went 15-11.