Perham gymnastics terminates contract with longtime coach
A letter sent to parents and families of the Lakes Area Gymnastics Academy in Perham on Tuesday stated the termination of the contract with head coach Charlie Fleck.
The letter did not detail the reasons for the termination and phone calls to the LAGA and Fleck were not returned.
“While we are not able to provide you with specific details that led to this decision, we do want you to know that the decision was made in the best interests of the Lakes Area Gymnastics Academy Program and the participants that are a part of this program,” the letter stated.
“The board plans to work with Charlie to develop a transition plan so that the schedule and practices will not be disrupted throughout this process. Currently, Charlie will remain involved with administrative tasks through Nov. 8th, but will not be doing any coaching during this time.”
Fleck is also the gymnastics coach at Perham High School where he has won 11 straight Minnesota Class 1A, Section 8 championships and had eight straight Class 1A state championships from 2004-11.
As of Thursday, no decision had been made regarding Fleck’s status with the Perham gymnastics program.
“Currently, right now, from the high school side of things, we haven’t made any decisions in regard to Charlie Fleck and the gymnastics program,” Perham athletic director Erin Anderson said.
“The academy is separate from our high school gymnastics program. At this point, I can’t speculate. I’ve heard some stuff and some rumors, but I can’t go any further.”
Fleck has been coaching gymnastics for 40 years. Fleck was a teacher in the Fargo school system for 25 years and was the head coach in gymnastics from 1978-1994 at Fargo South where he won nine state championships.
Fleck moved near Perham in 1998. In 2002, Perham approved girls gymnastics as a high school sport and two years later, Perham began a run of eight straight state titles.
Here’s the text of the letter obtained by Forum News Service that was sent to parents and families:
Dear Gymnastics Parent/Families,
We are writing to let you know that the LAGA Board recently made a very difficult decision to terminate the coaching contract with Charlie Fleck.
While we are not able to provide you with specific details that led to this decision, we do want you to know that the decision was made in the best interests of the Lakes Area Gymnastics Academy Program and the participants that are a part of this program.
We have worked hard to find options to continue with the current contract, but unfortunately, have run out of options.
The contract we had ensured that we would adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Minnesota State High School League and also follow safety guidelines recommended by USGA (United States Gymnastics Association) and noted in our agreement with Charlie and Perham Public Schools.
We are committed to standing by these rules and recommendations and now realize that it is time to move forward in a new direction.
The board plans to work with Charlie to develop a transition plan so that the schedule and practices will not be disrupted throughout this process.
Currently, Charlie will remain involved with administrative tasks through Nov. 8th, but will not be doing any coaching during this time. We ask for your patience and support as we work through the details of this plan.
We feel fortunate to have the support of our schools, many area businesses and our communities as we look to the future of Lakes Area Gymnastics Academy. It is our intention to look for high-quality coaching to ensure continued success of Perham gymnastics.
We are all grateful for the many years of dedication and hard work that Charlie has given to the gymnastics program and appreciate all the opportunities and successes that have come under his leadership.
Please send any questions/concerns to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincerely, LAGA Board of Directors
Chris Murphy | Forum News Service
Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548.