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Originally published November 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 14, 2007 at 5:38 PM

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Prep Basketball | Resler out at Roosevelt

Bill Resler, who coached Roosevelt High School girls basketball teams to the 2004 Class 4A state championship and five KingCo titles, was...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Information in this article, originally published Nov. 10, 2007, was corrected Nov. 14, 2007. A previous version of this story contained an error. Bill Resler, former Roosevelt High School girls basketball coach, is a senior lecturer at the University of Washington School of Business. The original version of this article referred to him as a UW tax professor.

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Bill Resler, who coached Roosevelt High School girls basketball teams to the 2004 Class 4A state championship and five KingCo titles, was fired Friday, three days before practice opens.

Resler, the coach featured in the documentary "The Heart of the Game," said he was told in a meeting with first-year Roosevelt principal Brian Vance on Friday afternoon.

"We're letting you go," Resler said he was told. "We're going to go a different direction."

Resler said he asked why he was being fired and was told by Vance, "I'm not prepared to talk about that now."

Vance couldn't be reached for comment. David Tucker, Seattle School District spokesman, said Vance received feedback throughout the summer and "felt he wanted to take the program in a new direction."

Tucker said Resler technically wasn't fired, but that his contract expired and wasn't renewed.

"I think somebody lied and that the administration bought that and they think I'm a bad guy," Resler said.

Resler had a 187-51 record in nine years at the Seattle school. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Washington School of Business. Resler was featured in the award-winning 2006 documentary "The Heart of the Game" about the Roosevelt program. Resler co-wrote a book, "The Heart of the Team" last year about himself and coaching at Roosevelt.

Complaints included that Resler never penalized his players for profanity, sometimes swore himself and encouraged rough play with collision drills and team themes such as "pack of wolves."

He also didn't hide the fact he enjoyed an adult beverage away from basketball. Resler told The Times on Friday that he never mixed alcohol with his coaching duties.

"There never was an allegation about my morality," he said. "I consider myself to be an extremely moral person."

One Roosevelt insider, who asked not to be named, said Friday, "For every parent who was disgruntled, there were 10 who loved him."

Resler said he was stunned at being fired, especially three days before Monday tryouts.

"I'm bitterly hurt because I loved coaching the girls at Roosevelt," he said. "I built the program to where it is, and I took pride in what we built."

Resler said he would be interested in coaching at another school. Roosevelt hasn't named a replacement.

Craig Smith: 206-464-8279 or csmith@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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