The narrative of the 2014 Boston Marathon largely was one of redemption and success, as a record number of participants turned out to run the race just one year after a horrible tragedy.
For one participant, however, his attendance at this year’s marathon cost him his job.
Matt Aguero, the head track and cross country coach at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., was fired just two days after finishing the Boston Marathon in two hours, 35 minutes and 33 seconds.
Aguero recorded his entire conversation with St. Gregory’s athletic director Dr. Jeff Potter, who told Aguero in a meeting on Wednesday, April 26, that his decision to run the marathon was a “trigger” that led to his firing.
“Your personal competitiveness can take away the energy and commitment to a program,” Potter told Aguero.
Aguero, who was hired by the university just two years ago in 2012, flew to Boston on Easter Sunday, while the school was closed on holiday, and flew back to Oklahoma in time for his team’s Tuesday practice before he was fired Wednesday. He didn’t tell Potter about his plans because it was an off-day for the school and the team.
“I think there’s an innate selfishness to some degree — and I’m not saying that people don’t deserve personal time; they do,” Potter added in his meeting with Aguero. “But I do think there is a fine line, or there’s a limit, where that crosses over, and that could interfere.”
Aguero has since filed a grievance to get his job back but admits he might not want to return to the team because of the way he was treated.
“Really, I just want to be vindicated,” Aguero said, via Deadspin. “I was fired for a ridiculous reason.”
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