Barron Collier baseball coach speaks out after district releases results of investigation

Published: August 31, 2022 10:03 PM EDT
Updated: September 1, 2022 6:05 AM EDT

The Barron Collier baseball coach is finally speaking out after Collier County Public Schools let him go. Coach Charles Maurer found out through a letter on Monday his contract is not being renewed for the upcoming season. The news led to players and parents protesting against the decision. For two days dozens gathered outside the district administration building demanding answers.

On Wednesday, Collier County Public School released the findings of its investigation. The school district laid out eight different violations of policies and procedures it says involve Maurer. The coach says the letter he got on Monday, originally telling him his contract would not be renewed, is much different from the letter sent to local news outlets. Maurer says the letter he received Monday cited use of an unapproved landscaping company that sprayed the baseball field for weeds over the summer. The letter he got Tuesday night had some violations he says the district never addressed with him, “I’m not going to go through each one because to be honest with you, some of them, this is the first time even hearing about them.” We’ve asked CCPS for a copy of the original letter sent to Maurer as well as his personnel file.

Maurer has been Barron Collier’s head baseball coach for more than a decade and he admits he hasn’t always followed the rules, “I get it there are policies and procedures over my 11 years that I’ve broken I’m not gonna sit here and say I haven’t. I’ve admitted to those in the past,” said Maurer.

In 2018 Maurer received a letter that clearly stated it was not discipline but definitely was a warning. The coach had poured a concrete slab without prior approval.

What triggered this recent investigation into Maurer? The unapproved landscaping company that sprayed the baseball field for weeds over the summer, allegations the longtime head baseball coach says aren’t true.

The school district says Maurer’s actions put the school district at risk for unnecessary liability.

Maurer, aka Squeeze, asked, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

Apparently, for CCPS, it was reason enough not to renew his contract. A decision that affects the entire team. Maurer apologized to his players on Wednesday for what they’re having to go through.

“I’m sorry, that’s the message, because they shouldn’t have to be going through this if I would’ve known this. I’m going to be completely honest, if I would’ve known it would’ve been this big of a mess, I would’ve resigned weeks ago just so they didn’t have to deal with it, because that’s the only thing I care about,” said Maurer.

The team cares a lot for their coach. They have shown up for days to support him.

CCPS is standing by its decision to let Maurer go, but Maurer isn’t giving up hope.

“It’s a Christmas Lifetime movie: You’re hoping for a miracle, you are hoping for a hail Mary on the 1-yard line that somebody, somewhere grabs this and goes, ‘Hold on a second, man, this is… this can’t happen,’ you know, and that’s what I’ve been praying for the whole time,” Maurer said.

Parents who have been showing up to the school district the past two days say this fight is not over. They plan on taking the matter to the school board.

Maurer’s full statement in response to CCPS:

“I have received this letter dated August 30, 2022, but am not comfortable signing it, because it contains numerous statements that are inaccurate, taken out of context and/or mischaracterized, and I am concerned that if I sign it, notwithstanding the caveat below the signature block, my signature will be mischaracterized as consent or agreement in future press releases. Importantly, this letter does not accurately reflect what was discussed at the August 11, 2022 meeting, but elaborates on the topics discussed and embellishes the statements made. Furthermore, this August 30th letter contains additional statements that are inaccurate, taken out of context and/or mischaracterized, that were not included in the version of the letter sent to my attorney on Monday, August 29, 2022, after Mr. Fishbane advised my attorney that my contract was not being renewed. According to the email conveying this August 30th letter to my counsel, the August 29, 2022 letter was revised after, and in response to, statements that I made in response to inquiries from the public and the media regarding the non-renewal of my contract. I do not agree with the contents of the August 30, 2022 letter. Respectfully, Charlie Maurer.”