BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Two Brunswick County pee wee football coaches are being forced to take a knee before the season kicks off. Now one of the exiled coaches says he was blind-sided by the judge's decision.
For Brian McDowell, football isn't just a game, it's a way of life.
"Anything I have coached or done I have done like I was told," McDowell said.
But according to a lawsuit filed by Richard Hollar, McDowell's passion for the game went too far when he tried to have his players injure Hollar's son Kasey. Hollar also claims that the county violated its volunteer policy by letting McDowell and William Powell coach, because they have prior criminal records.
McDowell says these claims go beyond Xs and Os.
"The whole thing in a nutshell is that he would drop everything if we stepped down," McDowell said. "I have no reason to step down. I haven't done anything wrong, nothing intentional to his child or any other kids."
Judge Ola Lewis saw things a bit differently when she upheld a temporary restraining order granted last week prohibiting the two men from coaching.
"I was one of the ones that started the football program," McDowell said. "It's something, you know, that's took time from my family, my money, and it took time for me to raise money for kids that couldn't afford to play, and now look where we're at."
McDowell admits he has made mistakes in the past. He has prior convictions for domestic violence and DWI. But he says he tried to be a role model to his players.
"That's what I'm here for. I've got children, too, and it hurts him now that daddy can't coach," McDowell said.
Richard Hollar declined comment, because the case continues.
Powell has resigned from coaching pending the results of the lawsuit.