SOUTHLAKE — Arthur Stanfield's career as a volleyball coach at Southlake Carroll came to an end this week.
"I wasn’t caught completely by surprise," he said.
The longtime coach, who is one of the nation’s top coaches with more than 950 wins, said he was released after five years at the school.
He said something happened and the volleyball community wouldn't let it go.
“Well, there were probably some decisions I made during the season that were unpopular decisions and I knew when I made them that it could come back to haunt me,” he said.
Stanfield wouldn't say what those decisions were, although his team finished with a 48-2 record and took third place at the state tournament.
"Let's just leave it that it was unpopular and not throw anybody under the bus or anything," Stanfield said. "Just say, I made some decisions that some people disagreed with and leave it at that.”
Stanfield, who won three state championships at Red Oak, says he wouldn't change anything about what he did.
A volleyball coach who has worked with Stanfield told WFAA that he wanted to turn the program around and instill a better work ethic and might have pushed his players too hard. That same coach also called Stanfield a good guy.
“It was a decision by our athletic department to go a different direction with their volleyball program," said Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for community relations. "So, it wasn't any one incident or any one complaint. It certainly wasn't about playing time or anything like that."
WFAA tried to contact Ken Ozee, the athletic director at Southlake Carroll. His office referred WFAA to the community relations department. They wouldn't go on camera, but talked via telephone.
"I think in summing up this decision, it was a difference in philosophies and we wanted to go in a different direction,” Thannum said. "I think out of respect for coach Stanfield, he has had a phenomenal record here and brought our program to a new level. I think we want to express our appreciation to him."
"We understand that people aren’t always going to agree with our decisions, but they are our decisions to make and we stand by that decision," she continued. "We want our program to move forward."
In the meantime, Stanfield remains a teacher at the school.