Concordia cuts staff and coaches

Published 10:56 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Due to budgetary shortfall, Concordia College Alabama was forced to lapse or eliminate some 17 faculty and staff positions, among them was award-winning head football coach Shepherd Skanes.

As Concordia is funded heavily by student tuition, a lower than expected student enrollment for the fall led to a shortfall for the school’s budget.

“It’s a budgetary reason. We projected an enrollment number this fall of 875 [students], but our student enrollment is 610, and that’s a variation of over 200 students, and that’s a big gap,” said Rev. Dr. Tilahun Mendedo, president of Concordia College Alabama. “There are some staff positions that we lapsed and some positions that we eliminated and also there are some positions that we vacated and that’s based on the institution’s financial situation.”

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Among those positions lapsed was that of the head football coach, which was taken over by defensive coordinator Don Lee before the team’s 22-17 win at Clark Atlanta Saturday.

Mendedo said the school exhausted all avenues in trying to maintain the workers and their positions, but saw no other options.

“It’s tragic, but there’s nothing that we can do at this point,” Mendedo said. “We have worked hard, we have tried our best to keep these workers, which most of them are hard working and good staff.”

After a 6-4 season last year, Skanes was named the HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] Independent Program Division Coach of the Year.

Under Skanes last season, the Hornets finished ranked No. 7 in the Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Black College Mid-Major Division Football Top 10 Rankings and was also named the Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Independent Co-Program of the Year.

Skanes had been with the program since the school returned to intercollegiate play in 2005 and had compiled a 30-40 record.

Concordia will play its first home game of the season Saturday at Memorial Stadium versus College of Faith at 2 p.m..