Information from WYSH Radio
After a disappointing start to the 2016 season, some fans of Clinton High School football have seemingly run out of patience. Anderson County Director of Schools Tim Parrott sent a letter Friday afternoon to local media outlets, county commissioners, school board members, administrators at Clinton High, and some parents urging people to stop spreading what he called “untruths” about Clinton football coach Josh Kerr.
Parrott said in the letter that he has met with parents of one football player and three community members that he said had concerns about the Dragon football program and Kerr. Parrott said he has met with Kerr supporters as well. In the letter, Parrott writes, “I have listened to their comments, been present at football practice and games over the past six years, and I have never witnessed Coach Kerr belittling players, being unsafe, or not playing to win.”
Parrott said that all coaches are also teachers and operate on one-year contracts that are evaluated at the end of each school year.
The letter begins with Parrott expressing concerns about information he had received last week about “plans to disrupt (Friday night’s) Anderson County High School versus Clinton High School football game.” No such disruption occurred, but Kerr had a police escort with him on the sidelines during the game as well as immediately after the game.
From Tim Parrott:
I am writing this letter today out of concern about information I received about plans to disrupt the ACHS vs. CHS football game tonight (Friday, September 23). As director of schools, the safety of our students, staff, and guests is our first priority every day. Any student, parent, or guest attempting to creat an unsafe situation at tonight’s ballgame or at any school event will be removed and cited by (the) Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.
I have an open door policy and will listen to parents and the community. As of today, parents of one player and three community members have met with me regarding concerns about Clinton football and Josh Kerr. I have also had parents and community members contact me in support of Coach Kerr. I have listened to their comments, been present at football practice and games over the last six years, and I have never witnessed Coach Kerr belittling players, being unsafe, or playing not to WIN. In meeting with parents, I have told them that all coaches work on a year-to-year contract and are evaluated by the principal and the athletic director at the end of their season. All coaches are teachers first and have certain rights under board of education policy, and they are held to very high standards.
According to TSSAA’s website, there are 58 teams in Class 5A of these, 17 schools have the same or worse record as Clinton High School. I, like anyone else, want to be on a winning team. More than that, I want to be on a team that stands together no matter what comes at us. Clinton High School is a great school with excellent academics. Clinton High School has great students and staff and community support. As a 1979 graduate of CHS and also as an assistant principal there for six years, we have had our share of ups and downs. However, at the end of the day, I am still proud to call myself a Dragon.
In talking with current and former coaches I ask them this question: “What are some of the particulars you look at when you decide to apply for a coaching position?” Without reservation, the first thing they say is “how does the community support the coach and the program?” There are a lot of untruths being told about Coach Kerr, and I would ask that it stop. Right now, Josh Kerr is the football coach at Clinton High School, and I believe that both he and the players deserve our support. The rumors and accusations are a distraction to the school and team. There is still a lot of football left to play.
WYSH Radio in Clinton is an Oak Ridge Today news partner.