Staff photo

Former Bellevue football coach Goncharoff announces intent to sue district, WIAA

Former Bellevue High School coach Butch Goncharoff filed an notice of intent this week to sue the Bellevue School District, the WIAA and others.

Former Bellevue High School coach Butch Goncharoff filed an notice of intent this week to sue the Bellevue School District, the WIAA and others.

“This is about my right to be heard. I was never allowed a chance to present my side of the story. WIAA and Sea-King have the power to impact my ability to work for any of its 800 member schools across Washington state – and they have not allowed me to present my case,” Goncharoff said.

Goncharoff came under heat along with the Wolverines football team, booster club and district athletics program when allegations emerged last summer that the program was illegally recruiting students and paying for them to the attend the Academic Institute and receive grades they had not earned.

Following the release of a fact-finding investigation in April, the district moved to terminate Goncharoff and assistant coach Pat Jones. Under the KingCo conference and WIAA Sea-King District 2’s sanctions handed down in June, Goncharoff has been banned from coaching the Bellevue team for several years.

“Under BSD’s restrictions, Butch can’t even go watch a BHS game as a spectator,” said Bob Sulkin, Goncharoff’s attorney, said in a press release. “The decision-making here has completely jumped the track of fair, reasoned judgment.”

Goncharoff has long held the belief that the WIAA investigators wanted to prove the team had broken rules, calling it a “set-up” in June.

Ultimately, Goncharoff said he hopes the notice will encourage athletic and school decision-makers to resolve several issues and overturn recommended sanctions.

This goes against the district’s decision not to further appeal the sanctions. Earlier this summer, Goncharoff’s concern had been on the student athletes.

“You may not like me, you may not like the football club, I can live with that. But don’t punish these kids,” he said at the time.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

King County homeless count: 11,751 people, up 5 percent from 2019

One night a year, volunteers spread out across Seattle and King County… Continue reading

Free masks at the Bellevue Salvation Army. Courtesy photo
Free mask pickup for Bellevue residents

New dates and times for mask distribution this week

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Construction begins for Downtown Park entrance

The previously delayed entryway project is expected to be finished early 2021

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline. Courtesy image
Drug courts, officer de-escalation programs impacted by MIDD cuts

The fund provides money for mental illness and drug dependency programs across King County.

Summer vehicle travel projected to decrease this year

Traffic this summer will likely be lighter across Washington state than previous… Continue reading

Most Read