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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Cleveland Parts Ways With Boys Basketball Coach Jerry Petty

Cleveland High School has decided to part ways with Boys Basketball Coach Jerry Petty.

Petty, who took over the program in 2014, had a 69-64 record (42-48 in Metro) during his six seasons as head coach of the program. He guided his team to the WIAA State 3A Basketball Tournament during the 2015-16 season, and to the SeaKing District Playoffs in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18. However, Petty’s team had a combined record of 10-28 (7-24 in Metro) over the last two seasons.

According to Petty, he played a lot of underclassmen over some upperclassmen this year and that led to some dissention among a few parents. While he was surprised at the decision to let him go, Petty maintains that he is proud of the work that he did mentoring young kids, developing players to function within a team concept and building a competitive program.

After losing kids like CJ Elleby and Jahleel Breland you’re going to be rebuilding,” said Petty. “My [coaching] decision [this year] was to use the guys that would listen and work hard, and for some of the parents it never really clicked that the older guys needed the younger guys and the younger guys needed the older guys in order for us to improve and move forward as a team.”

“It [the firing] was surprising to me, especially considering all the time we put into doing things the right way, mentoring kids and building the program,” added Petty. “Apparently, playing time and wins is more important than building up kids.”

Petty was an all-state basketball player at Garfield High School. In 1998, he led Garfield to a WIAA State 4A Championship and was the Tournament MVP. He played college basketball at Northern Idaho Community College and the University of Nevada. After graduating from college, Petty returned to Seattle and led programs at Rainier Vista, Renton Boys and Girls Club and was involved in AAU basketball.

The school has not named a successor to Petty, and the position is not currently listed on the district’s website for job openings.

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