Several Lancers players have been outraged since news broke in the locker room that football head coach Thom Kaumeyer will not return to coach the team next season and will be replaced by Fullerton College quarterback coach Tom Maher.
Kaumeyer coached PCC to a 2-8 record in the 2015 fall season, but many of the players feel this past season wasn’t an accurate representation of the team under Kaumeyer due to the timing of his hiring.
“He was hired in late June, early July and our first game was in September,” said freshman lineman Ben Kaiser. “You can’t expect us to learn a new system in just a few months.”
While the Lancers didn’t enjoy success on the field, players like freshman linebacker Daniel Wire feel Kaumeyer’s biggest success was off the field.
“In his short time here, not only has he brought the Pasadena football team together as a community and a brotherhood, but he has also changed the entire environment around the campus,” Wire said. “He is, and I think a lot of players would say the same, a father figure to a lot of players on this team.”
Kaumeyer was only hired as an interim head coach, but the team fully expected him to be there next year.
“Forget football, forget everything,” said sophomore defensive back Robert Morgan. “We trust T.K. It took us the whole season to trust him but now we know we have someone we can turn to. Now they’re just going to take that away from me and the team? It’s not right.”
Given Kaumeyer’s coaching experience with NCAA Division 1 football and the NFL, sophomore QB Marc Peart thinks Kaumeyer is more than qualified to be coaching at PCC.
“We’re honestly really lucky to have him,” Peart said. “If he were given a chance to interview for the job I think his resume would hold up.”
Kaumeyer’s replacement, Tom Maher, coached at PCC for 9 years from 1996 to 2004, tying the record for longest tenured coach in PCC history. Despite these ties to PCC, a number of players believe his ties to Fullerton contributed to his hiring.
Current superintendent-president Dr. Rajen Vurdien served as the president of Fullerton College from May 2010 to April 2015, around the same time Maher was coaching at Fullerton—2007 to 2014.
PCC’s Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing Alexander Boekelheide confirmed that Kaumeyer’s time with PCC has come to an end.
“Coach Kaumeyer will not be returning next year,” said Boekelheide in an email. “The college is grateful for his service and wishes him the best in his future endeavors. Coach Maher will be returning as the College’s head Football coach effective the 2016/17 football season. “
According to Boekelheide, “Coach Maher’s hiring was conducted in accordance with the appropriate hiring policy and procedure.”
Once the team was informed that their coach would not return next season, many members of the team took to Twitter with the hashtag #KeepCoachTK.
The hiring is expected to be announced at the next Board of Trustees meeting where many members of the team will show up to fight for Kaumeyer’s coaching position.
This story has been updated.