RACINE (WITI) -- A beloved and long-time high school basketball coach was let go last Friday, May 9th -- and that move led to outrage in Racine! Now, we've learned St. Catherine's High School basketball coach Bob Letsch has been reinstated.
The school's Board of Education held an emergency meeting on Monday night, May 12th, and made a decision to offer Letsch a one-year contract.
This move comes after the school's administration decided not to renew Letsch's contract on Friday.
On Tuesday morning, May 13th, students rallied again in support of Letsch in front of St. Catherine's High School in Racine.
"This is going nuts! It has been heartwarming," Letsch said.
On Monday night, even through thunderstorms, hundreds marched around the school to show their support for the beloved coach.
"It was kind of amazing. I felt bad it was raining. I said 'no one`s going to go,' you know, tornado warnings, sirens going off and all that," Letsch said.
On Friday, Letsch was told his days as the school's basketball coach were over. He says the school's administration gave him an ultimatum.
"He said, 'well, if you don't retire we're not going to renew you.' I said, 'okay, if that's what you got to do, that's what you got to do.' I got up, shook his hand and walked out," Letsch said.
Letsch says the decision blindsided him -- but says he immediately felt an outpouring of support, from strangers, friends, and his children.
"All of them have called me three to four times a day. 'Dad you okay?' I say 'I`m okay, I'm okay. Don`t worry,'" Letsch said.
It has given the eight-time state champion coach a little time to think about whether he would return to St. Catherine's if given the chance.
"I would say yes because I`ve said all along this whole process I want to coach, and I want to be with those players," Letsch said.
Letsch says it has also given him the time to think about how he would deal with the administration when he returns.
"If I go into the (Athletic Director's) office -- I`ll put a piece of tape across my mouth. Then walk out and take it off because I don`t want to argue, you know," Letsch said.
Letsch says with his reinstatement, he can fulfill the promises he made to the seniors returning -- and continue something that's lasted more than half a century.
"I`ve had 53 years of my life at that place, 49 teaching and coaching, and I went to school there," Letsch said.
Letsch says he knows he played a role in this situation and plans on making sure to learn from that.
He says for him -- it's all about the kids, and what he can continue to teach them moving forward.
The Corporate Board of St. Catherine's issued the following statement to FOX6 News:
"While the Corporate Board of St. Catherine's does not typically participate in personnel matters, we regret that the Board was not involved in the Administration's decision not to renew the annual contract of Mr. Bob Letsch.
In accordance with the Board's obligation to review and take action on certain personnel matters, and considering the best interests of St. Catherine's, the Board directs that the Administration offer Mr. Letsch a one year contract to coach the St. Catherine's Varsity Boy's Basketball Team for the 2014-2015 season."
FOX6 News has confirmed with Letsch that he will accept the one-year contract offer.