BILLINGS — Veteran volleyball coach Wayne Moorman, who came out of retirement to lead the Laurel Locomotives, was fired from his position at Laurel High School earlier this month.
In a written statement sent to The Billings Gazette/406mtsports.com on Tuesday, Laurel School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Filpula did not state the reasons for Moorman’s dismissal, citing "applicable privacy rights."
“The Laurel School District made a coaching change within the high school volleyball program,” Filpula said in an email. “The head coach, Mr. Moorman, has been placed on administrative leave and relieved of all duties. The School District has made the necessary arrangements to restructure the coaching staff. The School District will honor the applicable privacy rights for all students and staff involved in the program.”
Reached by telephone at his home, Moorman, 80, said his dismissal happened “a couple of weeks ago,” but he otherwise declined comment. He did say he would “pursue a little through the (school) board” but again declined to get specific.
“It’ll be some time before things kind of wash out and it’ll be more clear and I’ll be able to say some things,” he said.
Laurel announced Moorman’s hiring in May, along with Tom Maack for girls soccer and Buddy Windy Boy for girls basketball.
Moorman, a 1961 graduate of Laurel High School, initially retired in 2018 after a long, successful run guiding Bridger over 30-plus years. He won 10 Class C state championships at Bridger, and it was estimated at the time of his retirement that he had amassed more than 750 wins. He is a member of the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
He was the fourth head coach hired for the Laurel program since the Locomotives won the Class A state championship in 2012 under Jen Ebright. Ebright then stepped down after spending 10 years overall with the program, the last five as head coach.
Nikki Burke coached the Locomotives from 2013-15, followed by Jodi Alexander (2016-17) and Kortney Klein (2018-20).
Laurel hasn’t qualified for the state tournament since that 2012 title run.
Assistant coach Jamie Timm has taken over the program on an interim basis. The Locomotives were 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the Southeast A entering Tuesday’s matches.