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Hall of fame football coach Jonas out at Preble before even coaching a game

Mark Jonas, who was hired by Preble in February, said he was blindsided by the Green Bay Area Public School District's decision to part ways with him so close to the start of the season.
Southern Door Eagles taking next step under Hall of Fame head coach Mark Jonas
Posted at 4:17 PM, Jun 20, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — WFCA Hall of Fame coach Mark Jonas is no longer the head football coach at Green Bay Preble, according to both the Green Bay Area Public School District and Jonas.

The district sent an email to parents Thursday that Jonas will "not continue his role as Preble's head football coach."

"The Green Bay Area Public School District expresses its gratitude for Mark’s commitment and service to Preble High School," the district's email said.

The district declined further comment.

Jonas had been working with the program during the offseason. He said he met with district representatives Thursday morning, who informed him he would not be hired as either a coach or a teacher at Preble.

He said he was blindsided by the news.

"I was told that the interview process and the personnel process is confidential," Jonas said. "I was told that there was nothing that had to do with my teaching or coaching that prevented me from getting these positions but that I wasn't going to get them."

Jonas has experience as an English teacher and said was planning on getting a teaching job at Preble.

"At the time (I was hired) there were no English teaching openings," he said. "Subsequently there were two (that opened up). I applied for both, I interviewed for both and both went to somebody else."

"Toward the end of the school year there was a third that popped up and I reapplied to that as well and have never heard about that one," he continued. "To my knowledge it's still open."

He said he was not given an explanation as to why he was not hired. He said the district told him earlier this week to "have patience" and continue fulfilling his coaching duties.

He said he was then told Thursday morning that the district would not be hiring him as a teacher or as a coach.

Jonas said he believes the district's decision has more to do with his teaching than his coaching.

"I just want to make sure that people understand that this was not a Mark Jonas decision," he said. "This was a Green Bay Area Public School's decision."

"If I'm the right person to lead a major program like football and deal with the kids and deal with the boosters and deal with the parents and deal with the media... I am qualified to be in a classroom," Jonas continued.

Jonas said he is disappointed he won't have the opportunity to lead Preble's program, which he believes is poised for a resurgence.

"I was really looking forward to coaching these kids," he said. "Every interaction I had with the kids was extremely positive. They are a motivated group of kids, they deserve to have the best and I think that they will do well."

"What's also tough is I left a really good situation at Southern Door to come down to Preble," Jonas added. "Had I known all of this, in retrospect I probably would not have left the situation at Southern Door."

Jonas said he is now looking for a job and said he may have to work outside of sports and education.

"I'm scrambling a little bit, I'm not going to lie," Jonas said. "I stopped by the postal service today because they have a 'now hiring' sign up."

"I don't know what the next step is," he said.

Jonas previously coached at Hilbert, Oconomowoc, Kaukauna, Ashwaubenon and Southern Door.

In 2023, Jonas filed a petition in Door County Circuit Court to prevent a local family from gaining access to his personnel file.

Jonas said that was related to his role as Southern Door's athletic director and said he does not believe that incident played a role in Preble's decision not to hire him.

The Green Bay Area School District said Brad Boockmeier, a Preble alumnus who played college football at St. Norbert, will take over the program on an interim basis.

"Brad Boockmeier will be serving as Interim Head Coach for the 2024-2025 season," the district's email to families said. "Coach Boockmeier will be working diligently to fill the remaining current open positions within our football program in preparation for the upcoming season."