31 responses

  1. Jared Montz
    March 31, 2009

    Wow! That is hilarious! I think if I got an email like that my 8 year old girl wouldn’t be playing either.

    What makes a person think like that is what I want to know? Glad the league made the smart move and removed him from coaching.

  2. seanb_us
    March 31, 2009

    It has to be tongue in cheek. There’s elements in there that he clearly wants, wins, practices that are physically demanding, that these will be footballers not China dolls, real cheering and support from engaged fans, for soccer moms to be less yuppie, and for the team to comprise healthy kids who eat right. But, it’s written in an over-the-top style.

    For example, the following cannot be serious:

    “(excuse me, I just got a little nauseated)”

    “(but I do hope the other team is the one bleeding)”

    “I argue that competition is good and is important to the evolution of our species and our survival in what has become an increasingly competitive global economy and dangerous world.”

    “…and while blood doping and HGH use is frowned upon, there is no testing policy. And at the risk of stating the obvious, blue slushies are for winners.”

    “… uncercooked red meat”

    But, yeah, it all comes across as a psychotic episode and he completely misunderestimates his target audience of U8 kids and their yuppie parents. I’ve never seen a coach introduce himself and the team that way at any age. I can see why he was relieved of his duties.



  3. Lisa
    March 31, 2009

    Wow. My daughter used to have a coach that wrote emails almost as long, but not *quite* as psychotic. Then again she was 13, not 8.

  4. cwalk
    March 31, 2009

    I am a parent whose child was coached by Mr. Kinahan last yr.

    Lets all take a deep breath here. For those that dont recognize the humor in his email, you are certainly missing the mark and over reacting (agreed that this dry sense of humor is not appreciated by everyone).

    Firstly, this is an email that went to the parents – not the children. Although this is the first introduction to the coach (and done by email and where body language, tone of voice, and humor are lost in words as most emails are), one only has to go to a game to see he really does care and motivates the team with a great sense of comradery – more so than many other teams across all sports I have watched over the years. Granted coaches have different sytles in doing so but this seemed to hit the mark last year with all the parents supporting the team and cheering our little girls.

    Shame on you parents who brought this to the board without giving him a chance to go to a practice and/or talk to parents such as me. Many of you take for granted the sacrifice we coaches make, (I have volunteered for 10 years now), all unpaid and have to listen to parents gripe and moan about their children to us. To those of you, I implore you to get up and volunteer and not criticize those that do.

    If ever once he would have stepped over the line, as a coach and parent, I would have been the first to react. That also stands true for the harrassment of any other player or referee for that matter. All that was said was in good fun and not meant to hurt. If it did it was not intended nor meant that way.

    For those of you that expresses an opinion here today, save it unless you know him. It is unfair and not right what you and some parents of scituate have placed judgement on without knowing the whole story.

    Do you see any of the parents from last year protesting, blogging, contacting the board or media? I havent seen anything but maybe I am not in the flow. If I am correct, doesn’t that tell you something?

  5. Soccer Dad
    March 31, 2009

    I’ve seen coaches who were brought up on disciplinary charges and sanctioned because of their inappropriate behavior, supported to the ends of the earth by some parents while loathed by others. You quickly learn in youth soccer that parent support is not necessarily indicative of a coach’s behavior or their suitability for coaching. We all appreciate different coaching styles and leagues, for the most part, tolerate what they can while trying to maintain a baseline of ‘being on the same page’. But you can’t fault parents for flipping out when their first exposure to this coach was an email like this, which lame attempt at humor aside, made very clear some deep rooted beliefs in what he expected the girls to do and how he would likely behave. I don’t want my daughter coddled or sheltered from pressure and contact, but I’d have yanked my daughter off this team too – why? Because the coach showed a severe lack of judgement in sending an email like this. All of us who coach get a feel for our parents and treat them differently once we get to know them. But right out of the gate? Sorry – he could be on the way to sainthood and he still was wrong to send something like this and expect the reaction to be any different. As I said above – it wasn’t fair to the players, who just want to play.

  6. Seanb_us
    March 31, 2009


    People can certainly make judgments based on initial contact and communication. I think it’s as simple as this: he didn’t know his audience, got his message wrong, and he lost the job.



  7. Coach Tim
    March 31, 2009

    Many a truth are said in jest (or something like that). I agree with Mike here, bad judgment all around from former coach K. Having coached coed U5, U6, U7 and now U8 this spring, a coach does have to communicate with parents and get them on board philosophically but coach K did it all wrong. I especially don’t like his treatment of a youth ref; absolutely uncalled for, esp. at this level. Sorry cwalk your daughter’s former coach needs a lesson in restraint.

  8. Gerard Kinahan
    March 31, 2009

    Michael and I grew up reading Mad magazine, National Lampoon, and the Onion. The letter is in the same vein as those publications. It was written as a satire. Mike is a great dad, great coach and a great brother. To those of you who found his letter offensive I suggest you purchase a sense of humor and stop taking things so seriously. I wish that I could have sent that letter to the parents of the kids I coached in our youth soccer league. Right on Bro, you da man!

  9. Coach Tim
    March 31, 2009

    Gerrard, with due respect to your brother, who may be an excellent soccer coach, and accepting that he intended to be satirical, what was the point of the letter? I have no patience for the Starbucks/granola/Ughs group of parents either (I have some stories on that front, as do most of us who coach young girls) but what was Michael trying to convey and achieve here?

  10. Joyce Singer
    March 31, 2009

    33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide; 2 million will die this year. The unemployment rate in the US is at 8.1%. 4 children die every day from child abuse and most of them are under the age of four. LIGHTEN UP FOLKS, WE NEED TO LAUGH. I’m with the coach and his brother, Gerard, appreciating the sarcasm of National Lampoon and the Onion (not to mention Despair.com) I’m a 60 year-old grandmother and I think the letter’s a riot. Okay, maybe not the best judgment, but they could have met with the coach and straightened everything out. The mocha half-caf latte sippers were pi##ed off because he exposed them!

  11. Jason Bourne
    March 31, 2009

    I have to tell you, as a parent of a 6 & 8 year old, I would absolutely love to have my kids play on team Green Death! Are you kidding me that people got outraged over a clearly satirical letter?! It sounds like the Town of Scituate needs to lighten up! The core values espoused in the letter are values that all parents and children should be striving for. Perhaps they don’t keep score in this league either. God forbid you actually teach the children that life is about winning and losing. They need to learn both facts of life. Not in a harsh way, but in a way that helps them to develop their character. They need to learn about what it means to be a team player and how that one life lesson can help them throughout their entire life. They need to learn to fall down, get bumps, bruises, and bleed a little to learn how to get back up. You fall down 7 times and get up 8!!! I commend the coach on what he was truly trying to do – inject some fun and humor (for the parents) into the youth soccer process. If he offended you – I hope that I run into you someday. I will make sure that the Green Death traditions are carried forth. Great job coach!!!! Let me know when you return to soccer so I can sign my kids up.

  12. Jenn
    March 31, 2009

    Wow, think you touched a nerve, Mike.

  13. Marcus
    April 1, 2009

    I don’t think this is an issue of if the email was funny or not. The issue is….was it appropriate? The answer is no.

    As the President of a local soccer club, I applaud the actions of the board involved. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions to make sure you do what is best for the club and the kids involved.

    Clubs work hard to brand their image with the community. Unfortunately, this email takes away from that image because you know that the majority of the people that view this story and all the media coverage will think the coach is out of line.

    Is it fair? Maybe, maybe not. Who said life was fair. :)

    However, I’d like to know more about the incident involving the referee that would not come back to ref after having a game with that coach. I find that a more serious offense than the email.

    In closing, I’d like to state the following:

    1) I’ve been involved with youth soccer for over 10 years
    2) I’m originally from New England, so I understand the sarcastic sense of humor.


  14. Soccer Dad
    April 1, 2009

    When did sarcasm become an excuse for inappropriate behavior? For all of you who want your kids playing for such a coach, come talk to me when they sit on the bench while faster kids play so they can ‘Win’ because ‘Losing is for losers’ and god forbid your kid decides to referee and has to endure the heckling of a grown man on the sidelines telling them they don’t know what they’re doing (duh! They’re trying to learn) Then tell me how we all need to purchase a sense of humor. Thanks – I have one. I’m all for pushing kids to play hard and preparing parents for the unexpected parts of youth soccer (contact!). But there’s also no place for referee abuse in soccer, which this coach clearly believes in. There’s also a reason safety rules are put in place. People whine and complain about various rules in youth soccer – guess what – they’re there for the safety of YOUR children and most often because kids got hurt previously. Is it REALLY a big deal for girls to take earrings out before they play – so much that we have to undermine the authority of the soccer league *you’re working for*, volunteer or not on the first day? Oh and you want to know the real reason I’d never have my kids play for a coach such as this? Because it’s clear from day one, he wants ZERO input from the parents. He claims to want to build a family or cult as he says, and that can be great, but he also makes clear parents are NOT to speak with him. So I think his depiction as a cult is appropriate – the exalted leader shall dictate from on high how it’s going to be and parents have no place to say anything about it. The sarcasm is so badly written, it’s easy to see through it to the underlying philosophies this coach has and parents are smart to want nothing of them.

  15. seanb_us
    April 1, 2009

    Wow. Some passion in here.

    I actually don’t think the coach honestly meant what he said about picking on refs, although I read that a board member said a ref said she quit reffing because of this coach. I don’t talk to refs during games I coach, so none have quit because of me, but it is quite common (not right but common) to see coaches react to a ref’s call. Our refs fill out match reports and the league follows up with coaches who need rebooting–happened twice or thrice last fall, I think.

    I don’t really think the coach honestly meant that he had serious issues with the earring policy. My feeling is the policy is overblown, too, and I’ve never seen an earring injury–players occasionally show up with studs in and when I take them and put them in my pocket or bag everyone forgets about them til the next time I put earrings there. I’ve seen broken collar bones, arms, various strains and sprains, but never an earring injury.

    However, I also don’t think the coach’s email was appropriate, and I don’t see how he could have expected new parents or soccer parents new to the team with 6-7 year old kids to be happy with it.

    I don’t think this issue is about coaching style or humour. The first few messages to your team set tone, expectations, and initial impressions. I think it’s as simple as this:

    he didn’t know his audience, got his message wrong, and he lost the job.



  16. Mike
    April 1, 2009

    I coached in Scituate for several years at the U8 and U10 level and am now coaching U14 girls in another state. I do not know this coach, but know the program well. At the U8 level, the Scituate Soccer Club stresses skills training, and fun. No official score is kept (Although the kids know the score, who scored, and what their record is) and usually name the team themselves. I have seen the yellow bannanas, the purple monkeys, and my favorite the blue sailors (Scituate High’s colors and nickname). In my experience it was typical in Scituate for about a quarter of the kids to ask for a certain coach, and then everything else was up for grabs.

    I am guessing Mr. Kinahan was coaching this year because his daughter was on the team and no other parent stepped up to the plate. I was surprised to read that there was a problem with Mr. Kinahan verbally abusing the referees (who are 12 – 14 yo kids), and was coaching again. He must be pretty good with the kids if the Club let him back. That being said, if what Chris Park said was true about the problems with the refrees, the Club was wrong letting him coach this year. The problem was compounded by Mr. Kinahan’s idiotic email to parents he never met before. Finally, to Mr. Kinahan’s credit and to the shame of the rest of the parents, he volunteered to coach the kids. Recognizing that the sooner it was over, the sooner the kid’s could forget about it, Mr. Kinahan did the proper thing and resigned. Unfortunately his daughter is going to be reminded of this incident the rest of her life. I bet she does have a sense a humor, and finally, whenever anyone google’s “Green Death” this story, the Scituate Soccer Club and Mr. Kinahan will be front and center.

    Good luck to the Team, Club and Coach Kinahan.

  17. Allan
    April 1, 2009

    It’s a shame that a coach like that had to be let go. From reading some of the comments above from parents with children on his previous teams, the man’s email was very clearly in (poor) humour, and he was a wonderful coach.

  18. John
    April 1, 2009

    Bad sarcasm to an unknown audience and poor timing aside…I’m wondering why no one has commented about the parents on the sidelines that are described to a “t” in the e-mail. We all know those PARENTS on the sidelines that share this attitude but instead of writing e-mails about it, they scream it out from the stands. The pressure to “win” is coming not only from over the top coaches, but from inside the home. I have sat in the stands of countless small town sporting events and heard the comments made by ridiculous parents either about the judgment of the referee or the play of the team that have left me “a little nauseated.” From what I have read, most parents in this forum are not what I have described here, but we need to seriously evaluate the way youth sports are set-up in this country. I have worked with youth for many years in various ways and have seen the tool it can take not only physically, but emotionally on a teenager when the pressure to “be the best” is impressed upon them so hard that they begin to lose sight of anything else important in life. Let’s not forget that youth sports are for YOUTH, not professional athletes. The chances of someone making it from high school into a division one college for athletics is already a low percentage not to mention the transition from college to pro is even lower. That sounds cruel maybe, but it’s true. I love the NCAA commercials that thousands of student athletes will go pro in something other than sports. Youth sports and the pressure that comes with them are becoming detrimental to the development of today’s teenagers. I say that and I LOVE SPORTS. I pray that we will ALL come to grips with that.

  19. Soccer Dad
    April 1, 2009

    Well said John, though parent behavior is often a product of their coach. Go up to any soccer match and watch the coach for ten minutes. Then if the match gets close (and sometimes even if it is not) watch the parents – you’ll usually see a mirror image of the coach. Not always, as parents certainly can be ill behaved even though they have a quiet coach on the other side. But coaches who yell at refs, etc will usually have parents doing the same thing.

    I’ve heard many long time coaches say that the parents are adults and are responsible for their own behavior. Not hardly. A coach who makes clear to parents what is acceptable and what is not “Cheer, encourage, don’t address the ref, don’t coach” will usually have a well behaved sideline. Parents look to the coaches for direction just as much as the kids do.

  20. Amanda
    April 1, 2009

    It is too bad that you feel the need to crucify someone who has a different approach than you, especially at the expense of ideals and values you both support.

  21. Marcus
    April 1, 2009

    Nobody is “crucifing” this coach. That’s a cop-out kind of comment….right along with “you don’t know him”.

    Folks….it’s all about common sense. Unfortunately, I believe there was no common sense used in this situation by this coach and his email.

    However, the coach did the right thing by resigning…although his resignation letter had a lot to be desired. The did what was best for the team and the club.

    I just hope he learned from this experience.

  22. Amanda
    April 1, 2009

    You’re right in that I don’t know him, but if that means I’m not entitled to have an opinion, please enlighten me as to why the same argument does not apply to you.

    People have opinions, they’re not always the same. I think that’s at the core of this issue — EVERYONE has opinions on kids’ sports, and what I was expressing in my original post was my opinion that it is unfortunate for a seemingly well-intentioned coach and his team to be dragged into a national debate and made examples of. To publicly belittle someone on the basis of assumptions is what I consider ‘crucifying.’

  23. Mike
    April 1, 2009

    Guys, The Coach is not perfect. From all accounts he was great with the kids and stepped up to the plate and coached the team. Kudos.

    However, he reportedly berated young referees and jested about it an an inappropriate e-mail. He turned his team, his club and Town into a laughing stock and a national story because he could not stop typing.

    Not only did his first email make the news, but his resigination letter did not stop at oops I am sorry, it went on to continue to put the spot light on his very own words. These are 6 and 7 year old girls in a great little town. The focus of the SSC is the kids, not mom and dad and not the coaches, unfortunately he forgot this.

    Finally Amanda, I have no idea what you are talking about. Both the league directors and the coach himself where quoted that he interacted with the young referees in appropriately. One thing the Club takes seriously is coaches and kids berating young referees. If where not that he was a good guy, was great with the kids, and that some lazy parents did not volunteer to coach, he would never had seen the pitch this year. There is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING that is worth heckling and berating young referees about in U8 soccer. The coach did write “My heckling of the refs is actually helping them develop as people.”

  24. Soccer Dad
    April 1, 2009

    Some parents are speaking out in support of Coach Kinahan over at Wicked Local:

  25. Soccer Dad
    April 2, 2009

    HAHAHAHA Gotta love the Internet and custom print T Shirt services. Now you too can show off your support for The Green Death: http://www.gogreendeath.com

    If you buy one, I’d ask the shop owner how much $$$ they’re donating to the team :)

  26. Terry Mcdonnell
    April 6, 2009

    Give me a break! The email was a shot at the soft state of US youth sports and how everyone has to be a winner. No one can lose. Kinahan was rubbing these parential yuppie noses in that – the guy obviously has a kid on the team. I doubt he is a Nazi – just long winded.

  27. Elliott
    June 16, 2009

    Great post – this guy has a very militaristic view of soccer which overlooks the role of graces, passing, and footskills in the offensive gameplan. I do not agree with the competitive/skill development dichotomy, though, because the reality is that the two go hand-in-hand – improved footskills and soccer sense means improved results.

  28. Steve
    August 20, 2009

    Develop as people? Is this the guy that parents want as a role model for their kids? Screaming at beginning referees at an 8 year old soccer level? While we’ll never know the exact circumstances, based on both coaching and reffing experience most youth coaches(and fans) have a poor understanding of rules (even the simplest ones) and would definitely take a back seat to beginning refs that both play the game and have taken classes to become certified. Aside from impeding the refereeing of games(and there should be a zero tolerance policy in place for this), the majority of these tirades are erroneously based on misinformation of rules.
    When you write an email to parents which has motives that can’t even be determined(ie:sarcasm or actual opinion) you leave yourself open to everything that has occurred. If sarcasm, this needs to be sent in different form as an editorial in a different setting. If actual opinion, the guy has no place coaching young children and deserves every bit of this firestorm.
    His resignation letter speaks volumes. The letter is all about him. When you have to dissect and explain 30% of what you say or write, well, something is seriously wrong. A person this self-involved is not suited to coaching young children.
    Just because he stepped up to the plate to coach he deserves little consideration! It is boggling that he has supporters and is sad evidence of the state of our culture.

  29. Section J
    October 22, 2009

    Marcus, you are exactly the type of humorless drips who need the punchline of jokes explained to you.

    While it certaintly wasn’t a good idea to introduce himself in this manner, not knowing his humorless audience was the real problem, to judge the man on the email alone is a rush to judgement of the worst kind.

  30. Matt
    September 24, 2010

    Go Green Death. I am a middle school teach and would love to tell parents the truth! To the parents that got upset. You are really upset about the fact the coach has you pegged as a status seeking urbanite which views society as a convince to your whims.

  31. Christopher Cooke
    March 3, 2012

    I coach lacrosse two 12 year old boys. I wish I saw this email earlier. I would have copied and pasted it. I think it was awesome! I would be proud to have my girl play for a coach with that much drive and a winning attitude.

    It was alot of sarcasm and I don’t like yelling at refs but the rest of it was spot on!

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