NHS soccer coach leaves after pay cut

Published 12:01 am Friday, December 20, 2013

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School is currently without a soccer program after soccer coach Dai Vu refused to coach the team under new contract conditions.

Vu said a week before the season began, he signed a new contract to coach the boys soccer team. After reading over the contract, however, he noticed his pay would be cut in half from last season, when he had a $4,500 stipend to coach.

“I overlooked the salary, and (later found out) it was cut in half,” Vu said. “I told them I couldn’t do it. They cut too much.”

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Vu left just two weeks before the start of the season, leaving NHS principal Fred Butcher little time to find a replacement.

“We couldn’t find any one else to take his place,” Butcher said. “It was his choice (to leave). The money just wasn’t there.”

Last year’s Bulldogs posted a 9-4 record, one of their better seasons in recent years, Butcher said, but the search for a new coach has been tough on Butcher and his staff.

“It’s very hard to find a soccer coach, believe it or not,” he said.

Vu said he didn’t resign, but rather, walked out after discovering his pay would be cut in half. He also said they cut an assistant coaching position from the team.

“I know a lot of the students are disappointed and mad, and I feel bad for them, but they’re understanding,” Vu said. “They still respect me.”

Junior Tevin McKnight, who plays soccer, said the team is still practicing at McLaurin Elementary School and is trying to stay sharp for next year.

The school plans to offer soccer again next year if it can find a coach, Butcher said.