BELOVED AND NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED 3-SPORT COACH TERMINATED FROM ARCHBISHOP SPALDING HIGH SCHOOL

Until recently, I served with dedication and distinction as an assistant coach in several sports at Archbishop Spalding High School. Without warning, after softball practice on March 4, 2022, I met with Athletic Director Jon Mellinger for a scheduled meeting where he informed me that then-Principal and now-President Brian Kohler terminated me, effective immediately, from my football, girls’ ice hockey, and softball coaching jobs at Archbishop Spalding High School with the support of now-retired President Kathy Mahar and Jon Mellinger himself.

To my knowledge, none of my head coaches received notice or an opportunity to advocate for me. Brian Kohler never had a conversation with me whatsoever since we were formally introduced in Summer 2021 when he arrived on campus as the new principal. I do not believe concrete evidence was offered to justify my firing other than vague references to “lack of a culture fit.” Team parents can speak to the baseless nature of that accusation. The School also alluded to concerns about my social media, which has been nothing but positive in promoting the school and its student-athletes. This termination was done in violation of written policies of the Archdiocese of Baltimore giving due process to at-will employees.

Upon the urging of numerous football, girls’ ice hockey, and softball team parents, I retained counsel: Joyce Smithey and Reuben Wolfson of Smithey Law Group LLC to exhaust all viable options to secure full reinstatement to Archbishop Spalding High School.

Unfortunately, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Archbishop Spalding have not reinstated me to date, supporting Brian Kohler’s decision to terminate me despite my belief that the termination was unlawful, devoid of due process, and in bad faith. As justification for my termination, Archbishop Spalding advised me it had several specific issues with my employment.

First, Brian Kohler purportedly took issue with a Christmas card I created and disseminated annually around the Christmas holiday. Since 2016, I have created Christmas card collages that feature photographs of me with my current and former student-athletes, colleagues, and friends. My intent and the spirit of the card each year is to celebrate and honor the people in my life. In my interview before I was hired at Spalding, I showed my Head Football Coach my Christmas cards from previous years to inform him that this is what I do every year to celebrate and recognize my student-athletes. My Christmas cards have been praised by my head coaches, brought positive attention to the school nationwide, are a huge hit with team parents, and make student-athletes feel happy, seen, heard, and important.

My Christmas card was not a problem in 2020 at Archbishop Spalding under a different Principal and Athletic Director. It purportedly became a problem in December 2021 under Brian Kohler. In January 2022, Athletic Director Jon Mellinger informed me that I have “not done anything improper,” but to be aware that the school has the right to use the name, image, and likeness of the students and that does not necessarily transfer to a coach.

The next purported issue is related to the first. For the same reasons regarding name, image, and likeness rights, Archbishop Spalding’s administration apparently had concerns regarding my personal social media pages, which I use to promote my student-athletes and recognize them for their achievements. This is a standard industry practice in the coaching profession nationwide, which I follow according to best practices and is conduct other Archbishop Spalding employees have engaged in without consequence. Indeed, other teachers and coaches at the School have engaged in this industry standard practice without issue, let alone termination of employment.

My head coaches, who directly supervised me, all gave me exemplary reviews and can speak to the fact that I am “all-in” on the success and well-being of the students and the school.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore apparently believes that I deserved to be terminated because I worked too hard and cared about the kids’ successes too much. Isn’t that what every parent wants from their children’s teachers and coaches?

I have committed zero misconduct whatsoever. I have been the consummate professional tirelessly dedicated to my craft. I am a devout Catholic and strong advocate of Archbishop Spalding’s Catholic educational mission. I was nominated for the 2021 National High School Coach of the Year award by the preeminent strength coaching association in the country for my work at Archbishop Spalding in 2021.

The celebration and promotion of my student-athletes on my annual Christmas card and on my social media accounts is purportedly what got me fired by Spalding’s administrators, but my esteemed colleagues continue to promote students on their personal social media pages without fear of termination. That speaks to the bad faith and unfair dealing Spalding engaged in with respect to my termination.

*****I am asking to be fully reinstated to my football, girls’ ice hockey, softball, and substitute teaching jobs at Archbishop Spalding High School immediately.*****

I have had some very unique experiences in my life, but every day I got to spend with my Spalding student-athletes and mentor them was a great day and invaluable experience.

I have a plethora of opportunities and options with my resume and reputation, but I strongly desire to be at Archbishop Spalding High School because I formed connections with student-athletes, colleagues, and the community there and owe it to those student-athletes to continue to develop their academic, athletic, and life skills as a valued member of the Spalding community.

I pray that people who hear my story spread the word across the community and take action to persuade the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Archbishop Spalding administrators to fully reinstate me to Archbishop Spalding High School immediately.

Phil Tran, JD, MSED, CSCS,*D

P.S. – Sign the petition to urge administrators at Archbishop Spalding High School and the Archdiocese of Baltimore to immediately reinstate Coach Tran to his football, girls’ ice hockey, and softball coaching jobs immediately.


11/10/22

The campaign to reinstate Coach Phil Tran, beloved and nationally-recognized 3-sport coach and devout Christian, to Archbishop Spalding HS continues with the launch of PhilTran.org. Visit the site to learn the case, see the “concerning” Christmas card in question, sign the petition, read the numerous character endorsements, and send the site with two clicks to relevant administrators at Spalding and the Archdiocese of Baltimore to persuade them to reinstate Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding HS immediately. Thank you to all petition signatories so far with more to come. Share with your network to raise awareness of an inequity and injustice against a truly innocent individual that must be rectified, resolved, and reconciled with full reinstatement. It is a win-win for both sides.

– Friends of Phil Tran

——

“Reading through all these endorsements from esteemed colleagues, team parents, student-athletes, former college football teammates, church parishioners, and community members was like receiving my flowers while I was still alive. The people closest to me know that it was a struggle for me to stay alive*** for the first three months after my firing. ***(I am in a better mental state today thanks to my Catholic therapist.)

This firing was done by then-principal and now-president Brian Kohler with the support of now-retired president Kathy Mahar and athletic director Jon Mellinger without notice to my head coaches or me, without due process, and, as we would months later find, for reasons concerning harmless, positive actions of mine consisting of celebrating my student-athletes on my Christmas cards and social media. My colleagues, who still have their jobs, celebrated their student-athletes on their personal social media during the same time frame and some still do to this day without fear of job loss. We believe this is a clear cut case of unjust, unfair, discriminatory, and inequitable treatment. We hoped the Archdiocese of Baltimore would mediate and reinstate me, but the Archdiocese of Baltimore decided to support the decision of Brian Kohler and remains unmovable, essentially saying that they were concerned that I worked too hard and cared too much about the success of my student-athletes.

This ordeal, especially done against me by my own church, has been the single most traumatic experience of my life and I am a cancer survivor. Cancer is a walk in the park compared to the trauma of not living out my God-given purpose of mentoring girls and boys in the way of Jesus Christ through sport in my neighborhood Christian school.  

I love my football, ice hockey, and softball student-athletes and their fellow classmates dearly in a sacrificial way, the highest form of love shown by Jesus when He chose to sacrifice himself so that all people may achieve eternal life in Heaven simply through repentance and belief…and He came back to life in bodily form to prove that God is real. Our Spalding students are uniquely and wonderfully made in the image of God and cannot be replicated elsewhere.

I can seriously and easily do “better” things that are “best for me” far elsewhere, but I sacrifice and fight for my Spalding student-athletes and the Spalding community because are worthy of love. True love in its highest form is a sacrifice made for others freely.  It is my hope that by seeing the sacrifice I make for them, our Spalding kids can also see the sacrifice their parents make for them so that they may have earthly life, and ultimately see the sacrifice Jesus made for them on the cross so they may have eternal life.” 

– Phil Tran, JD, MSED, CSCS,*D

“Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9 ✝️

Christmas Cards

2021 Christmas Card (Outside Front)
2021 Christmas Card (Outside Back)
2021 Christmas Card (Inside Top)
2021 Christmas Card (Inside Bottom)
2020 Christmas Card (Outside Front)
2020 Christmas Card (Outside Back)
2020 Christmas Card (Inside Top)
2020 Christmas Card (Inside Bottom)
2019 Christmas Card (Outside Front)
2019 Christmas Card (Outside Back)
2019 Christmas Card (Inside Top)
2019 Christmas Card (Inside Bottom)
2018 Christmas Card (Outside Front)
2018 Christmas Card (Outside Back)
2018 Christmas Card (Inside)
2017 Christmas Card (Outside Front)
2017 Christmas Card (Outside Back)
2017 Christmas Card (Inside)

Petition Signatories

I have never had a coach, more enthusiastic, caring, and committed to making me a better athlete and person. He developed a work ethic in me that went beyond the weight room or conditioning, and guided us on a path of faith and care for our community and the people within it.

Jed Brummett

I graduated from Gilman in 2019 and had the honor to have Coach Tran as one of my coaches in those 4 years. I can’t even put down in words how amazing a coach, let alone a person, Coach Tran is.

He was part of my junior year and that was by far the best time I have had at Gilman. A lot of that is credited to him. He is one those coaches that genuinely cares. He is a coach you would run through a wall for.

When our team found out that Coach Tran was leaving Gilman due to a head coaching change, we took that extremely hard. I promise you. He is someone you want in your corner.

I could write a book on Coach Tran. I really could. He is that type of person.

On one hand, I want Coach Tran to say forget Spalding due to the fact that they don’t recognize his value as a coach and a person. But he is the type of guy to overlook all that, specifically the disrespect, just for the bigger purpose which is the young men and women; making them not only better but putting a smile on their faces everyday.

The people who made this decision should be ashamed of themselves. Learn to recognize the special people who wake up to make this world a better place.

Zachary “Spanky” Dixon

Coach Tran was my football coach at Blake High School in 2016. He has not only been an amazing and dedicated coach, but he has inspired me to reach new heights I have never touched before. I am currently on a track and field team at an SEC school. His constant words of encouragement and positive attitude led me to where I am today. Please reinstate Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding.

Jabari Bennett

I personally had Coach Tran as my strength coach at Calvert Hall for the basketball team. What he has taught me helped me tremendously as I went to play at the Division 1 level.

Antonio Foxwell

I have never personally met Coach Tran but I have had friends who have played on his girls’ ice hockey team and I have never heard anything but praise about him. After hearing about his dismissal, all of his players were extremely disappointed and sad at his departure. I also believe they did not have a proper reason for his dismissal and that he should be brought back.

Linda Bentzel

Coach Tran is the first ever coach who has made me feel seen and heard as a female. There are many pages on social media that highlight the male athletes at Spalding and very few that show off the female athletes. Coach Tran runs his social media in a way that not only highlights the women’s ice hockey team’s achievements, but also inspires upcoming females to not be afraid to play a male dominated sport. By not reinstating Coach Tran you are taking away a great percentage of the young female athletes voices. Coach Tran has not only helped me progress in ice hockey but has immensely helped improve my health as well through his words of affirmation and motivation.

Anonymous Spalding Female Student

Coach Tran is a great man of character and faith and he frequently instilled these high values into the players he coached. He made himself available frequently and never did anything with ill intent.

Brandon Lenkiewicz

I am a student at Archbishop Spalding High School. I have heard nothing but amazing things about Coach Tran. Everyone has said what an amazing guy and coach he is. I have not personally worked with him, but was so excited to do so because of how many amazing things i have heard. He deserves so much better.

Anonymous Spalding Male Student

I strongly support Coach Tran and he needs to be reinstated to Archbishop Spalding HS.

Megan

Coach Tran is one of the few coaches in my life that I have felt actually cares about not just the athlete’s ability, but the athlete all together. Coach Tran was constantly the biggest cheerleader and coach for the women’s ice hockey team at Spalding.

Coach Tran not only helped me in hockey, but with lacrosse as well. I am a D2 lacrosse athlete at Davis and Elkins College. Coach Tran helped me train responsibly and safely.

For Tran not to be a ‘culture fit’ is flat out absurd! Tran is honest, a good listener, excellent motivator, and very involved with his faith.

Coach Tran provided me with exactly what I needed to know in order to keep myself happy and healthy while also keeping good faith. Archbishop Spalding should be ashamed of themselves for firing Tran.

There is no other coach that is more involved, dedicated, understanding, and sacrificial than Tran. Tran always made it a priority to make everyone feel welcomed.

Since graduating, I have still kept in contact with Tran and will be sending him my college lacrosse schedule. That is because Tran loves all of his athletes and he wants to see them do great things in this world.

Nothing makes him happier than seeing those he used to work with grow up and do great things. Coach Tran offered me weight training sessions at his own private gym, pro bono. To him the success of the athlete outweighs any kind of money.

Graceyn Paprcka

Please bring Coach Tran back to Archbishop Spalding High School.

Emily

Coach Tran is one of the hardest working and most supportive coaches I have ever encountered. He has always wanted the best for his athletes whether it is in the weight room, the classroom, or on the field. As a former pupil of Coach Tran, he has shown nothing but respect to me, my peers, and my family. In addition, I did not feel like Christmas cards were inappropriate or out of order but I saw it as a token of appreciation.

Jarrell

Coach Tran not only brought a positive attitude and element of self esteem and positive self-image that is so difficult to cultivate for teens, but he did so with an unmistakable Roman Catholic voice. He regularly paralleled the teachings of the Church and the Bible/Gospel to his athletes and ALWAYS prioritized God, faith, family, and education above all else.

I have submitted detailed statements to both Archbishop Spalding and the Archdiocese of Baltimore in the past several months since Coach Tran’s termination in support of his character and detailing our family’s personal experiences with Coach Tran as a coach for our daughter with the ice hockey program and the profound impact we believe he has has on the students and student athletes, to include our daughter.

These statements went unacknowledged. Not even with respect to receipt. I’m happy to provide them again.

Jen Wagman

I always only heard kind things about him!

Tori

Coach Phil was an amazing coach! He always cared about his work and was very enthusiastic in everything he did. I always remember him arriving on time and giving his best for the sport. He treated all the athletes with respect and in a friendly manner.

Anonymous Spalding Female Student

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Spalding.

Kylie Spath

Coach Tran has always displayed a positive impact on players and all others he has interacted with at Spalding. He has been severely missed over these past several months. Please reinstate Coach Tran at Archbishop Spalding.

Anonymous Spalding Male Student

Coach Tran was one of our daughter’s hockey coaches. He was very helpful with the girls on and off the ice during workouts and practice. He was well respected.

My daughter received a Christmas card of the hockey team and I actually placed it in her scrapbook that I made for her. I thought it was a great gesture to show team spirit as well as wishing the girls a Merry Christmas. I feel he deserves to be reinstated and hope this to all be a misunderstanding.

Anonymous Spalding Mother

I am a Spalding parent of three. Last year, Coach Tran was the primary communicator for girls ice hockey emails, and he thoroughly impressed me with his encouragement, positivity, communication skills, attention to detail, and emphasis on character development.

From offering preseason weight-training sessions, to extra in-season and offseason skating and puck handling training, he went above and beyond to make himself available (for free) to anyone who wanted to improve.

He also added the videotaping of the hockey games and a social media presence to help connect families and fans with the happenings of the team, both very helpful benefits to us. From my observation, his training, communications, and quest for excellence went beyond the outcome of games. His influence aimed for hearts and life success.

As a Catholic school community, I believe Spalding had a gem in their midst – a person who values athletic excellence coupled with personal and spiritual development. Look at the success of the varsity girls’ ice hockey team – winning the state championship, and his camaraderie with the athletes could attest to his positive influence.

If you asked the athletes I think you’d hear that they feel his care for them is genuine. It’s not often I hear teens praise an adult, but in Coach Tran’s case I did.

Specifically a member of the boys’ hockey program raved to me about how awesome Coach Tran is and how he volunteers to announce and play music at their games in his free time. I witnessed such volunteer work a few times when I went to watch boys JV games.

When things are going well I don’t normally take the time to formally praise someone I feel is doing excellent work. I should probably change that habit though as people with complaints become more and more vocal.

I wish I had written a letter of praise before Coach Tran was let go. While I don’t know the details of his dismissal from Spalding, I just want to share that there are many students and parents like me, who are disappointed he’s gone, because all last year we were silently praising him, silently impressed with all he was contributing, silently grateful that our Catholic community had a person who was not only spiritually uplifting, but also passionate about coaching and mentoring, self-giving, technologically gifted, detail oriented, a good communicator, and most importantly AVAILABLE.

He has the energy, passion, and the time to devote to the students. I truly believe him to be an asset to our school and wish he would be reinstated if possible and prudent. Thank you for your attention.

Anonymous Spalding Mother

Coach Tran. There is not a harder working and more dedicated coach that I’ve known or worked with during my career as both a collegiate athlete and as a coach. He exudes Christ’s love with his athletes and in his professional and personal lives. This termination is unwarranted, unjust, and should be reversed.

Jason Haddock

Phil Tran has always taken his work seriously and been a positive influence on young people. I hope the Archdiocese will re-evaluate its decision and restore Phil Tran to his coaching posts. Also, I say this as someone who hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye, but his skill, dedication, and morals are unquestioned.

Anonymous Colleague

This Man is all about making the student-athlete better in sport and life.

Thuan Troung

We desperately need more Men like him for the youth. Please reinstate Coach Tran to Spalding immediately

Aswand Cruickshank

Impeccable character, work ethic, and a man of integrity. When my child is old enough to play youth sports I can only hope someone like Phil is there to be a coach and guide my child.

Adam Yoder

Coach Tran puts his entire heart into everything he does; specifically, the people and community around him. He has personally improved my work ethic and dedication. Though I am years removed from athletics, this very week I used Coach Tran as an example of pure heart and hard work.

Christopher Hoo

Coach Tran, has made me a better coach. We need coaches like him to mentor others and multiply impact. Archbishop Spalding High School needs Coach Tran.

Bryan Watkins

Coach Tran is a great coach and has the best character in the DMV. His culture is awesome! His work is one of the best. Please reinstate Coach Tran immediately.

John Helmer

I am at a loss. I left Spalding in good standing. This seems very unfair to me.

A great Coach is hard to find these days. Most are in it for the wrong reasons. Coach Tran is not. He is in this profession for all the right reasons.

I can’t think of anyone quite as dedicated to the betterment of athletes than Coach Tran. He is truly an exemplary individual.

Chuck Markiewicz

Coach Tran is an all around good guy who cares deeply.

Joe Golden

Phil is a great sport and strength coach, photographer, and Catholic. He loves children and is passionate about his work with anyone he comes in contact with.

Teachers coach and coaches teach. He doesn’t look at the individual as an athlete, but as an individual made in the image of God with physical, mental, and spiritual gifts to discover and unlock. Coach Tran provides these people with tools that will assist them through life and isn’t that what a Catholic High School education is supposed to do?

By releasing Phil you’ve lost a valuable asset. I’d suggest you reconsider your position and reinstate.

Michael Smith, CSCS

I coached football at Arundel High School during his time as a coach at Spalding High School. He showed nothing but good sportsmanship and respect towards his team, opponents, and coaches from both schools any time we completed. I hope he continues to get a chance to coach at a place he loves and cares about. Because those people are few and far between in the school system.

Cody Powers

My Grandson Tre’ Jordan (CHC Class of ’21, 4 years on football team, current Merrimack College football player) spoke highly of Coach Tran and his impact on the team.

George Evans

He is dedicated and knowledgeable. He always puts the student-athletes’ best interest first!

Jim Cleveland

Please bring Coach Tran back to Spalding.

Ryan

Well I’ve known Coach since he was working at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, MD. His character is without question when it comes to his work with students and parents. I have recommended several parents to train their children with Coach Tran. Plus he is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to academics and what it takes to succeed in academics and athletics. Coach Tran is especially passionate about preparing student-athletes for life after sports.

Al Mayo

Spalding needs Coach Tran.

Sean

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Spalding immediately.

Cheryl Schwabline

Coach Tran coached my son when he was Calvert Hall. Coach Tran was a great mentor, person, and coach. He has a great reputation all around the Baltimore community. He really believes in his kids and is a great mentor. I believe he should be reinstated.

Derrick

Coach Tran is a tireless worker for his school and his students. His work and presence helps promote the school and puts his players in a very positive light. Also, Phil is a very devout Christian who lives by God’s principles. Archbishop Spalding High School needs Coach Tran.

Scott Wade

Phil Tran is a man of character, a first rate coach, and an exemplary human being. I know him primarily from connections we’ve established outside of his teaching vocation, but in every instance he has spoken to me with pride and humility about his work as a coach and as a devout Catholic.

As a father who sent his own son through twelve years of Catholic school education in and around Baltimore, I am stunned by the sudden and deliberately vague nature of Phil’s dismissal. Notwithstanding Phil’s status as an at-will employee, the school owes him transparency in this process, which includes full disclosure of the basis for this action and an opportunity to be heard by an objective fact-finder. Let’s try to do what’s right instead of what’s expedient. It’s the very basis of our faith.

Thomas Kennedy

Phil Tran is a hardworking man who is a positive influence on anyone he meets. He needs to be reinstated to Archbishop Spalding High School.

James Lee Annis

Every parent and child would want to have a coach like Coach Tran. Have you in the Archdiocese lost your damn minds?

Ruth Taylor

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding.

Adam Swartzendruber

Coach Tran is a hard working and tremendous coach who cares for his athletes. His termination is unjust and unlawful.

Brandon

Coach Tran is a profound influence and deserves reinstatement.

Ben

Please fully reinstate Coach Tran to Spalding.

Dina Singleton

Coach Tran needs to be back at Archbishop Spalding.

Katelyn McMorrow

I have known Coach Tran for nearly two decades and he has always exemplified character, hard work, and integrity. As a college football teammate at Baylor University, he was an encourager who always advocated for doing things the right way without taking short cuts. As a friend he was always honest and willing to put himself on the line for the well-being of others. This is the kind of coach Archbishop Spalding HS needs.

Staron Faucher

Coach Tran has been nothing but amazing to his student athletes. He is a great person and coach and deserves his job back! The student athletes, parents, and coaches miss him and would like him to return to resume doing what he loves!

Anonymous Spalding Mother

I fully support Coach Tran and he belongs at Archbishop Spalding.

Sarah McIntire

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding.

Amelia Williams

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding HS.

Wanda McIntire

We need Coach Tran back at Spalding.

Sarah

We were Baylor teammates and Phil will add value to any program. Archbishop Spalding HS will do very well to reinstate Phil Tran immediately.

Franklin Patterson III

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Spalding.

Tara Ring

To be terminated for no reason and out of the blue is ridiculous. That is not Spalding. What ever happened to “One In Christ”?

They say “One in Christ” everyday and then do this to a member of Spalding. That is not how it should ever be.

Preston Dove

Coach Tran has always believed in building character first and coaching performance a very close second. He has been professional in every encounter and expects the same of his athletes. He has a unique capability to positively impact each person he trains regardless of gender, age, athleticism, etc. Without hesitation, I would entrust my children to a man and mentor like Coach Tran.

What a loss for the community!

Rebekah Lovorn

This absolutely sickens me! This is not the first athletic coach that has been treated horribly by the new administration at Spalding. They should be taking a good look around because they won’t be seeing any student athletes choose Spalding because of this administration.

What the heck is wrong with these people? I am so glad that my son has now graduated and I don’t have to deal with this crap, because that’s what it is, crap. All of this has left a horrible taste in my mouth and I am not afraid to share my distaste with anyone looking to attend Spalding.

Carrie Dove

Coach Tran needs to be reinstated to Spalding.

Emily Tardy

Coach Tran is the best ever. He has been my son’s mentor and personal trainer for 4 years. He has helped my Son get stronger mentally and physically. He loves all his athletes and he takes his job very seriously. Please give him his job back please.

Felisha Ray

Coach Tran’s dedication to educating and building student-athletes of character should be extolled, not punished. This is a deep blemish on Spalding’s reputation.

Nicolee Ambrose

Coach Tran supported me and gave me the confidence to start playing a new position in football. He was always very informative and encouraging to me and my teammates when coaching. Coach Tran is a very good coach and even better person. He belongs at Spalding.

Owen

Coach Tran is an exemplary coach. Not only is he knowledgeable and hard working, he cares tremendously for his student-athletes. He brought a level of infectious enthusiasm to the programs he was a part of. He also went above and beyond with team communication and shared his coaching expertise, offering so much of his time and effort. He was a gift to our Cavalier Community.

Dave

I’ll start by saying I’ve been friends with Phil for over 20 years. First thing I’ll say about Phil is that he loves Jesus more than anything else and if you really know him and his spirit then you know that any claims about his intent for his holiday cards are missguided.

He was a college football teammate of mine at Baylor. He was the sole reason I passed business calculus class. He was unpaid and consistently tutored me until I passed that class. I feel forever indebted to him for helping me do so. I love him like a brother.

Aaron Karas

Coach Tran has always been passionate and supportive of his players.

Greg Harding

As a graduate of University of Notre Dame, mother of 5 daughters, and a former colleague of Phil Tran, I know he exemplifies the Christian values and ethics unparalleled to many in the sports arena today. He is an example for adults and children alike.

Chevy Weiss

Phillip Tran was our office’s Congressional Intern in the summer of 2006. Phil has a strong work ethic, is exceptionally honest and moral, and has a great professional attitude. His professional and personal qualities make him great at what every position he is offered. Especially now with news reports about a lack of teachers and teaching support staff, someone of Coach Tran’s talent is needed more than ever. Thank you for considering my thoughts.

Scott Baker

I met Phil in 2005 while we were both part of a church in Waco, Texas during his time as a Baylor college football player. Phil’s most defining characteristics were obvious. His dedication to his craft as a student, an athlete, and a community member clearly modeled his integrity, positivity in every endeavor, and empathy toward all including me and my 5 year old daughter.

These qualities were obvious because he led and does lead to this day by moral strength, action, and kindness; not just words.

I would treat any implication, tone, or inference to the contrary whether personal or professional, as insidiously suspicious, political, and painfully void of evidence.

Please reinstate Phil Tran to Archbishop Spalding High School. Thank you.

Robert Dugan

He coached my daughter and she was the leading scorer. Coach Tran has great knowledge and care.

Finley Smith

Coach Tran’s work is exemplary and outstanding. The kids look up to him. He is a great role model and representative of all the sports he coaches and for the school as a whole. Archbishop Spalding HS needs to reinstate Coach Tran.

Anonymous Spalding Staff Member

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding.

Megan

Coach Tran has been training my children for more than 6 years. He has been able to give more than just coaching. He talks about Christ and how to set my kids up for their future. I want my children to be taught and coached by Coach Tran when they get to high school.

Michelle McPadden

We were colleagues and Tran brought creativity, respect, hard work, and positive leadership to our work team. It was great to see him follow his passion into coaching. I have been following Tran’s journey for 10+ years and my father was a National Champion college football coach. I know good leadership. Tran has it.

Alison Pavlicek

I have seen Coach Tran work with his students and I’ve personally trained with him. His love for his profession and people’s health, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually is an amazing trait that should be welcome at any school. Archbishop Spalding must reinstate Coach Tran.

Nicole Harris

My son worked with Coach Tran at another school. My son always had positive things to say about Coach Tran.

Robert Huber

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Spalding.

Debbie Gill

Coach Tran coached my sons at Gilman. He did a fantastic job and was very positive and enthusiastic.

John Brummett

Phil Tran was my college football teammate at Baylor University. He is the greatest teammate and fellow classmate ever! He showed great leadership on and off the field!!

Damien Taylor

Please fully reinstate Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding High School.

Patrick Murray

I support Coach Tran. He is an outstanding coach and deserves reinstatement.

Chad Siefert

Coach Tran worked with our son for almost 2 years. He was patient, kind, knowledgeable, and just a great person to be around. He exemplifies the qualities that a coach at a Catholic school should have and deserves the best from life.

Derrick Wilmering

I am 100% supporting Coach Tran!!!

Slavo Gladis

I know Coach Tran from college at our Catholic Student Center at Baylor University. He was an active member of our college parish, participated and led retreats, and served faithfully and with integrity. He is a diligent and hard working individual who always maintained the highest moral standards and looked out for his peers and his church community. He is an outstanding person and deserves reinstatement at this beloved job.

Anne Elise Doise

Spalding and the Archdiocese need to welcome back Coach Tran.

Courtney

I volunteered with Phil Tran in the DC area. He was committed to excellence. He needs to be reinstated to Archbishop Spalding.

Kimberly Meyer

Coach Tran was an incredible mentor to my son as his high school football coach at a Montgomery County Public School many years ago and helped him earn a roster spot on a Division III college football team when no one else believed in him. There are many kids who need a Coach Tran in their lives.

Julia Baker

I’ve known Phil for 20 years. We served as members of the Baylor University Football Team as well as pursued our Master’s Degree at Baylor University at the same time after our football careers ended.

I have never met anyone as morally grounded, or anyone with higher integrity than Phil. He had no enemies, no one on the team disliked him, and everyone (coaches included) often talked of his work ethic.

Off the field, he has always been a pillar of integrity. He’s always demonstrated that he wants the best for everyone around him and leads with his actions in helping elevate everyone around him in every capacity.

Baylor Barbee

I worked alongside Coach Tran at Calvert Hall College High School. He taught me how to be a better coach and how to prioritize coaching character and morals. He has the respect of student-athletes and is an effective leader. Everyone who interacts with Coach Tran becomes a better person.

Etai Gamliel

Please reinstate Coach Tran immediately.

Dasche

Coach Tran is a man of the highest ethics and integrity! Sounds like he is being discriminated against by Archbishop Spaulding!

Vaughn Bennett

I attended Baylor University with Phil Tran. We a played college football together for the Baylor Bears. The guy is a class act all the way around. He never missed a workout, he gave everything he had, and he always held all of us accountable; even when he knew people would have a problem with it.

But the two things that amazed me the most about Phil was his faith in God and the wisdom and intelligence he possessed. He would mentor and pray for me when I was at Baylor and after I graduated.

Phil has always been a true blessing to any and every community he has been a part of. He is one of the best men I know and a true role model for anyone to look up to.

God blessed him so he could be a blessing to others. Do not let him go.

Chudi Michael Ogadi

I worked with Phil on the NSCA Maryland Board. Phil served as State Director and was a pleasure to work with! His work ethic is unmatched and his positive attitude is contagious.

Andrea Eisgruber

Archbishop Spalding High School needs Coach Tran.

Toni Schultz

Coach Tran is an outstanding person from the day I met him, to seeing him at Calvert Hall College High School’s campus when I was a student, to whenever I see him in public. He has been a family friend for many years and continues to inspire me to be better than I once was.

David Beus-Parr

Please reinstate Phil Tran to Archbishop Spalding HS.

Dave Clark

Coach Tran presented at a National Strength and Conditioning conference amongst peers and experts in his field. He brought a wealth of knowledge and passion to this learning opportunity. He is an asset to the sport, health, fitness, and strength community.

Lauryn Meyer

Coach Phil is one of the most humble and hard working person I have ever met. Coach Phil is a man of great character and integrity. He cares deeply for his community and even more for the kids in it.

I know this because we have done multiple community service events with each other in the years we were college football teammates at Baylor University.

His preparation and commitment to his craft and work is unmatched. The joy and smiles I would see on the faces of the student-athletes he coaches are just like the smiles he left on the faces of countless kids that he only got to spend a couple of hours with doing community service in the Waco, Texas community.

He always left a big positive impact with the kids and colleagues he worked with.

Paul Mosley

I have known Coach Tran for years, dating back to our grad school days at Baylor. Phil is the type of person who never says a bad thing about anybody, even when he may not agree with them or their stance.

He has always been a consummate professional and held himself with the utmost decorum.

I would trust him teaching and coaching my kids any day, and anyone who gets to work with him or be taught by him should count themselves lucky.

There aren’t many people left these days who truly walk their talk without ever breaking, but I would bet my life on Phil’s integrity and the fact that he has never nor will ever do anything unprofessional or unbecoming, definitely not intentionally, and most likely never unintentionally either.

Coach Tran is a perfectionist, starting with himself and holding himself most accountable for living up to his expectations, which are much higher than anyone could have.

Traci Simons

I have known Phil Tran for over a decade. He actually lived with our family for a short time while waiting to occupy his new home. He has done work for me. We have volunteered together.

Phil is one of the most genuine, hard working, gracious persons I know. He is a true Christian and a testament to the Faith. I see his passion and devotion to these kids he coaches.

And now I see a real travesty in his unfounded termination. I join with others in calling for his reinstatement.

Carol Frase

Phil Tran is a college football teammate of mine at Baylor University. He is a man of morals, character, and a devoted Christian.

Yancy Boatner

I played football with Phil in college at Baylor. He is a great teammate with top tier work ethic. No doubt is Phil Tran is an irreplaceable asset to the school.

Brandon Hereford

I found Coach Tran to be morally upstanding, positivity driven, and a gentle and kind coach. This is very disheartening and a major loss.

Chrystie Calderella

Phil is a great strength coach and football coach with the highest moral and ethical values. It was a pleasure to have my son work with Coach Tran at Calvert Hall and my son is now playing Division III college football.

Kevin Heffner

I have known Phil for more than 20 years and he is not only a dedicated educator but also a Christian whose light shines before all men. He is a disciple and defender of the faith and a role model to hundreds of student athletes.

Jen McCall

Please reinstate Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding HS.

Eric Johnson

Archbishop Spalding needs to reinstate Coach Tran.

Jennifer Tye

I coached Phil Tran at Baylor Football and am a Catholic as well. Phil is a great individual who would be an asset to any school.

Matt Robbins

Coach Phil worked with my son at Calvert Hall. He was committed not just to the teams and the school, but even to the families. He has the commitment that if he’s part of your organization, he is all in.

I and the other team moms and athletes made one of his infamous Christmas cards… and not one person was offended or insulted but pleased and grateful to have been included in his many endeavors of the year.

We were sad to see him leave Calvert Hall… Archbishop Spalding shouldn’t let him go…. They will regret it later.

Meredith

Please reinstate Phil Tran to Archbishop Spalding HS.

Vincent Sammons

I’ve always found Mr. Tran to be of high character, honest, and caring.

Jonathan Brown

Please reinstate Phil Tran to his coaching jobs at Spalding.

Crystal Barile

I’ve only met Coach Tran once, but his dedication and commitment to his job were extremely apparent in the short interaction we had. This whole situation just seems like really unfair treatment and is not a great look for Spalding.

Anonymous Spalding Mother

I have known Phil for about 20 years now as fellow Baylor Football Lettermen and there has never been a single day in which I’ve known him where he has not been anything less than exemplary in whatever role he is in.

Through Phil’s tireless work and forward-thinking, he’s allowed past friends, family of student-athletes, and new acquaintances to follow and keep up with him in life through is Christmas cards and social media. As a former coach of student-athletes with many close friends throughout the country who still coach, there is nothing regarding Phil’s social media posts promoting his students and the school that does not follow the standards that every other high school program follows throughout this country.

Please reinstate Phil and allow him to fulfill the duties he takes seriously as an educator, coach, and member of the Catholic faith community. Teacher shortage is definitely an issue and having not just good, but extremely qualified teachers is an even bigger issue.

Phil is that extremely qualified teacher and presence who has devoted himself to his career and his past successes and accomplishments show his commitment to the path he has chosen.

Randy Davis

I met Phil at a Perform Better personal training summit in Providence, RI and was very impressed by him. He was knowledgeable, kind, and made an impact on my decision to start my own business as a personal trainer by being effectively encouraging. We have kept in touch as my daughter goes to college in Maryland.

Aurora

Coach Tran has been working with my 13 year old daughter to prepare for high school and possibly college athletics. He is nothing but amazing!

Michelle Sweeney

Phil is a kind and hard working coach. He is positive and full of knowledge.

Lauren Hogan

Please bring back Coach Tran to Archbishop Spalding.

Damar

Phil has an incredible gift of passion that is bestowed upon those who find themselves to be blessed with his presence. He develops and inspires Christian values in his athletes not just in his words, but by his actions.

Rob Brumfield

We need Coach Tran back at Spalding.

Sarah

I spent much time with Phil at Baylor both as a student-athlete and as a friend and I have always known him to be a person with superlative ethics and an outstanding character.

Ryan Brooks