Rutledge forced out as Ashley hoops coach


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Submitted: Thu, 04/24/2014 - 5:03pm
Updated: Tue, 07/21/2015 - 5:18am
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Under David Rutledge the Ashley Screaming Eagles finished with an overall record of 11-16 in boys basketball, 6-6 in the Mideastern Conference in the lone season for Rutledge at Ashley.

“After careful consideration by the administration at Ashley High School, David Rutledge will not continue as head basketball coach for the 2014-2015 school year,” Ashley AD Roy Turner said. “We sincerely appreciate the hard work that Coach Rutledge put in for the student athletes of Ashley High this school year. Michael Propst, will serve as an interim coach until the position is filled. The position will be posted immediately on the NCHSAA website.”

51 Comments

  • Joelle says:

    WECT has stepped up by interviewing some of Rutledge’s supporters. Can we rely on WWAY to step up to the plate too? WWAY Please investigate some of Mr. Stroud’s questions.

  • Joelle says:

    WWAY please investigate the questions Mr. Stroud has posted. WECT is interested in what we have to say and a story was aired yesterday. Now it’s your turn to investigate!!!!

  • Local Basketball Coach says:

    How sad that SO much false info was generated and allowed to go unchecked against one coach and program. Sounds like he should be looking to begin a slander case against some of ya’ll. How sad too that you have waited until he’s run out by Roy and the girls forfeit half a season to care.

  • Serve Our Father says:

    I don’t know much about basketball, and did not see any games. But, it was so sad that coach Rutledge and his boys were not with us serving meals and visiting last Thursday evening. Coach Rutledge and his kids were remarkable the past few months, cooking meals, delivering meals, and then serving our families and neighbors in need. It was a highlight for the kids to play with the young men, and so many of our men really came alive swapping basketball stories with Coach and the players I can’t believe a servant leader like that is not an asset at a high school, and that Ashley would discourage or destroy what was such a good thing.

  • Ashley Parent of 2 says:

    I agree. My son came home so excited about how he did on the test as well. Rutledge had them so well prepared and motivated for that test. We have to question if we are not trying to keep strong teachers at Ashley High.

  • Kirk Stroud says:

    I see nothing but anonymous post. I wish the 2-3 parents who created all this would grow a set, put your name on it, and tell the truth. Stop hiding behind anonymous post. A good coach and an even better man was fired because of you. Why not speak publicly about it? He was fired publicly. So Little johnny actually had to work. Hope these parents have enough money to influence a college coach. You will have to tell a college coach Little Johnny is working to hard? Good luck with that. Your basketball career ends in high school. Enjoy your participation certificate.

  • KC says:

    What Ashley administration is doing just makes me so sad. I can tell you from personal experience that Coach Rutledge is an amazing mentor and teacher. He was at our school prior to Ashley and my son the privilege of having him as a teacher, club adviser, and mentor. Coach teaches these kids/all kids to strive to be the best that they can be. My son use to be content with the easy A, until Coach looked at him one day and said “Why”? “Why would you not put some effort in to get the best possible grade that you can get”. That is Coaches philosophy on everything. Always give 130% of yourself no matter what it is school work, basketball, life. Coach gives 200% of himself to his students. There were days he would be at our school at 5:45am and he wouldn’t leave until 11:00pm. He would tutor any kid that needed help even if they weren’t one of his students. He taught the kids about personal responsibility. Something far too many people know too little about today. I don’t understand how anyone could think that any of these things are bad. Sure he works the kids hard on the court and in the classroom, but isn’t life all about hard work? I can tell you that because my son had coach as a teacher I am confident that he now has the work/study ethic to be successful in college. I pray that the Ashley administration listens to it’s students and parents and realizes that they have an amazing asset that they are letting slip away and the people who will pay for that mistake will be the students.

  • Kirk Stroud says:

    Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen and Amen

  • Concerned Parent says:

    How about holding Ashley Athletic Director accountable for basically neglecting the girls program by not doing his job? His negligence in filling paper work robbed games from the girls coach (forfeiting games) and robbed 1 year from 2 of the girls being able to play. And his job is secure?

  • Veteran Teacher says:

    I am a teacher and I have not been active in teacher organizations or cared much about the new state changes – but now after seeing the way Ashley administration is actively running people out in such a capricious and ridiculous way. Sandbagging evaluations, intimidation, moral crushing stuff. We just want to work in a fair and open environment. Let us.

  • Baller says:

    These comment need to ger back to coach. Let me explain about coach and Ashley. It’s the end of practice and you are running sprints – picture any sport – and this guy is like busting ass running super hard each one. And it’s the end of practice so you are tired and it ticks you off. His working hard is making everyone look bad. The first few times you just hate that guy, but he keeps doing it and then you decide to go really hard each time, and you can do it. You feel good and proud. Now 2 or 3 other guys go hard also, feel proud, and now you got some thing special. Coach Rutledge is “that guy” busting ass and at first everybody around him is mad because he is making hem look bad – the AD, principal, even some other coaches. Don’t be mad, just let some other really dedicated people catch up and we will have something special!

  • Ashley Senior says:

    My coach told me, that AD Mr. Turner told him, (see messed up) that coach Rutledge needed a hobby. He opened the gym whenever kids wanted, he opened the weight room for them, he tutored them in virtual classes, tutored them for the SAT, sponsored students so they could volunteer at the Special Olympics, chaperoned his players on volunteering feeding at a homeless center, is in the cafeteria for kids everyday, AND teaches like 3 different classes one that is an AP class. Why should we want him get a hobby – Ashley is his hobby and he does a lot of good

  • Kirk Stroud says:

    Seemingly everyone but a few want Rutledge to stay. Why not get someone to look into the real reasons Rutledge was let go. Don’t settle for generic reasons like, “what’s best for our school.” How long is Turner going to be at Ashley? A year, half a year? Isn’t he close to retirement? Why has he had a different coach every year? Why does he have so much turnover? Who does he answer to? Find those few parents who wanted Rutledge gone and ask them.
    Just a few questions unless you are stumped.
    WWAY, are you scared to actually do a little work and rub a few people the wrong way? I can tell you from experience the reason is no. If you can sell papers, or get website hits, you will run a negative article quicker then a booster can reach in their pocket and get money. So let’s see if you will. FYI, those parents are only boosters for 4 years. That is unless you keep firing good teachers and kids start repeating grades.

  • Ashley Coachig says:

    Turner runs off more coaches who don’t want to be capped at a 90 mins of athletics a day

  • Citizen at the School Board Meeting says:

    Wow – just came from school board meeting and the students and parents that spoke were amazing. The turn out of support so strong. What’s going on here, this is a great situation and great coach and inspiring teacher. Thanks for listening to the supporters and do the right thing!

  • concerned parent says:

    Only a few Freshman and their parents are supporting Rutledge not surprisingly. I wish same posters would stop filling up the message board with nonsense – every parent was interviewed, every player, other coaches at Ashley and some faculty as I understand it. Clearly there were some issues. I find it incredible how many uniformed people are claiming the kids did not work hard that’s B.S. Those kids worked their behinds off all summer, 2-3 practices a day and on weekends and holidays. It’s too bad they were not afforded Respect – clear discrimination against some of the players. Plus Rutledge coached politics not matchups – some of his substitutions at critical times was just repeatedly inexplicable. Standing on the sideline yelling the same number all night is not coaching. I agree with a previous poster some of these kids had no business being selected for a Varsity team in the first place. Ashley has a D1 caliber player and 1st team all conference athlete but it has nothing to do with Rutledge (he did not even know how to properly use him e.g. had him coming off the bench behind less talented players). I agree, a new AD is needed. I don’t think they had to fire the man but there were some problems that if addressed earlier may have prevented this from happening. Several talented kids leaving the school to go to New Hanover and elsewhere are because of Rutledge and Ashley will never to taken seriously in sports if they continue to run off talent. A good coach knows how to manage talent and get the best out of the players – I just don’t see that here.

  • Hunter says:

    Investigate, there is a different bogus reason each time you talk to Ashley HS leaders. Even Turner says Rutledge is a great coach. He seems to just work too hard and care too much for laid back Roy. Can’t get through my head why those are bad things, but seems when they are questioning the kids for dirt on Rutledge that’s what they are repeating. Oh, and rumor is Roy retiring sooner than that.

  • Taylor - impressed parent! says:

    I know this is a sports blog, but I have to brag on my daughter and her classmates in Mr. Rutledge’s AP Psych class that took their national AP exam yesterday AND THEY CRUSHED IT! She felt so great about the test and her preparation. It has been wonderful to see her so excited about working hard. I don’t really care about sports, but keep this great teacher.

  • Kirk Stroud says:

    “anonymous and scared”
    So there has NEVER been a kid to transfer from a school to Hanover? It is this one kid and because of this one coach. Exactly which school did this AD come from? Wonder why kids are filtered there?
    There are more then “a few” freshman that supported him. I haven’t talked to one yet. I think if you use a little common sense, or try just a little, you will see that SEVERAL kids transfer to Hanover for sports. THAT is the real problem.

    I take it you are a coach. I mean only a coach with knowledge of how to substitute his players, what plays to run, when to call certain defenses, when to run certain offenses, breaking presses and how to create a team would know these things. Not a parent who sits through games and thinks “little Johnny” is the best player on the team. It is called a basketball TEAM, not a “basketball we have one DI player so let him be the star regardless of wins and losses.”
    You agree the AD needs to be gone, but trusted his decision to help get rid of the coach? Can’t have it both ways. So you don’t trust the one who hired him, or the one hired, yet you have the perfect option. Who should the coach be? Can’t be mad one brother is getting playing time and one isn’t. Can’t be afraid one kid will transfer IF this one coach is back.
    Suppose that kid is a DI prospect. How do you think he will do once he is on his own at college? Away from parents and structure and with a lot of free time on his hands. Obviously didn’t handle a hard coach in HS. Are these same parents going to this DI school and force out a coach? You really think ANY college coach will let a parent run his program. Better get use to college type demands in high school. Not have it thrown at you as a freshman and be lost.

    He coached at inner city Charlotte. Where the PARENTS were not spoiled and entitled. Which means their kids were not spoiled and entitled. He comes to Wilmington………….spoiled and entitled get him fired.

    Oh and who is getting these kids together for their workouts now? I saw 6 of them in a gym, without a coach. Trying to improve their game, for a coach they don’t know yet.

  • Ashley basketball player says:

    The entire problem with Ashley basketball and Ashley athletics is the lack of leadership in administration and in the Athletic director Roy turner. Turner is all about looking good to the public but is a hypocrite that doesn’t support the basketball program at Ashley. Coach Rutledge is an outstanding coach that would help any player in his program. he has the best basketball knowledge in the state. a couple parents that are spoiled babies that didn’t get their way so they decided to ruin things for everyone. Coach Rutledge has done so much good for so many people its devastating to see him go. Who has Roy Turner ever helped? There needs to be a major change with all athletics Ashley more specifically getting rid of Roy Turner. If a couple of rumors and bratty parents can get a coach fired then there is obviously a problem.

  • Proud Parent of Ashley Students says:

    I’m coming to is late, but my kids go to Ashley and one of them has Mr. Rutledge for a teacher and has had a gray year with him. She has worked hard, but fully expects to earn college credit based on how well she did on he AP Psych exam. And he taught the whole class all year without books for the kids. Where are my tax dollars going School Board if we can’t get books? My son is not as studious as his sister, but is really excited about taking Mr. Rutledge’s AP class next year. AND NOW others kids are saying that the school wants to not hire him back. Is this true? Not that basketball coaching is not important, I’m sure it is, but it only affects a dozen kids, right? What about the over one hundred kids who had him as a teacher. Don’t my kids deserve a great AP teacher, regardless of being a good coach or not. Let’s not through the baby out with the bath water here. What can I, we do to advocate for my kids?

  • Realistic Parent :) says:

    So my kid is not in this AP class that is earning college credit or “crushing” the exams, but he has Mr. Rutledge and it has been great. My son TALKS about this class! Yes fellow moms, he is talking to US at dinner or in the car !! It has been so refreshing. I didn’t meet him at open house, but feel I know Mr. Rutledge with how much I hear about him and class. I have been meaning to email him and thank and congratulate him (and feel badly now) and am blown away that someone making such an impact is not being recognized in the building. I assumed the school leaders know who is doing a great job. They have got to be around, but my son says he doesn’t know or see the principal or APs in classes so maybe they just don’t know anything. SO I’M SAYING NOW, THANKS FOR ENGAGING MY KID AND GIVING US DINNER CONVERSATION !

  • "Concerned parent" - Good Riddance says:

    You know this all you say is NOT TRUE! Not all kids interviewed, 3 pulled out. Rest had to make appointments like me and my kid! More kids transferred before Rutledge than with. And ask your D1 player – he admitted he was not good enough at defense – too bad he won’t be able to get better at it now. Ask your son, get the story instead of writing BS.

  • C Johnson says:

    I like that a kid who refuses to or can’t remember a play or set is taken out. It’s about teaching and executing – that’s how programs win. Colleges and schools with good programs look at that – NOT whether one kid’s mom is happy every minute.

  • Baller says:

    OMG! Coach was not just yelling numbers! Those are sets and plays – ask you player to explain what that means. If he can’t then that’s why he’s not playing! And never will for any coach! Please stop messing up our program. Take your son somewhere else!

  • Ashley coaching says:

    I work here. “As you understand it.” I think You know that is not true. You understand nothing. Nor did you care about the school.

  • Basketball player says:

    Rutledge is an awesome coach because he understands us and works really hard. It makes him a great coach and for the same reasons a great teacher. And he has an impact beyond 12 players, there are 2 teams and more than that who try out, plus it’s not just us who have pride and success- the whole school benefits from, and with him we were only going to get better.

  • Parent supporting Rutledge says:

    I agree with the positive affects that Rutledge’s class has had. I can barely get my child to say grace aloud in front of our family and in Rutledge’s class once a week he is in front of the class doing a presentation. I think he and what he is doing is great!

  • Lynne Saffo says:

    Why are people hiding behind anonymous posts? Call a spade a spade and let us know who you are… Like we don’t already!! Are you too scared to admit that you and your bogus accounts are the cause of a great coach and person losing their career? Coach Rutledge has done nothing but good things for our kids and I for one am going to continue to stand up for someone I believe in… I want to show my son that you stand up for what is right. Coach Rutledge made decisions about his team based on work ethic, commitment, and a team philosophy, NOT individuals. Remember, there is no I in TEAM. Maybe the dissenters need a lesson in teaching values to kids…. Hard work, kindness, friendship, and generosity. These are qualities/values that Coach Rutledge has stressed to my son and I appreciate Coach reinforcing what we teach at home. I am truly sorry that a few people have caused such heartache for so many… Coach Rutledge, the true TEAM players, Coach’s students, and the parents that respect and love him.

  • Diamonds are Forever says:

    Slow down, D1, really? At Ashley? Talk bout nonsense. I thought there was a d1 here and across town this year and they going juco. Seriously, yall missing something. Sounds like yall need a reality check down there. If ya can’t take some junk from a coach glad you didnt come here.

  • Screaming Eagle for now says:

    We all can’t believe this is happening. Coach has had our backs since last summer and to see people lie is so sad. Coach has helped get better. Taught us to be accountable and show character. He showed us character and effort everyday. He did what your email said an so many more good things. Oh and he did get us a SAT tutor, HE did it, since he is also wicked smart.

  • Concerned basketball parent says:

    Coach Rutledge is the best coach Ashley basketball could ever ask for. There is no replacement that can EVER fill his shoes. Even with only one season, he instilled in these young men the best work ethic possible. These kids who committed to his program have achieved excellent grades, improved their leadership qualities, and become examples of community contributors. Coach gave freely of his time…. Countless hours in the gym, in the classroom, and in the community; his own money (bought shoes for kids who didn’t have the money, paid for SAT prep to help kids; and his skills. For our family, his loss as a coach has been heartbreaking. The Athletic Department at Ashley is in turmoil and we need to look closely at the lack of leadership, namely the AD, that has allowed this to happen.

  • Kay D. says:

    Check the local new again for Ashley High. 2 more coaches run out. It’s going to be hard to find people to commit to coaching there with that kind of track record, where parents rule and the admin can’t support coaches, teachers, or kids.

  • Ashley Eagle says:

    Roy Turner will be the last AD that comes from the coaching ranks. Next year the AD will be from admin background. May be too late to help :-/ Coaches being forced out.

  • Scorebig1998 says:

    Mr Turner only coaches one sport (baseball) and at a low level, no offense. He’s not a role model for coaches. Especially in a sport that is a revenue sport and one where the program has to be built, not just show up at season after the guys play summer and fall ball. Football and Basketball programs are built with time and effort so the whole group comes together and gets better. Anyone new will be an improvement.

  • No, I'm REALLY a parent says:

    Why is it suddenly now a “horrible record” , it’s the second you teams have ever had. And last years best was with a DI player, this year you returned 6 points. The team had some big wins, but overachieved in coaches first year. It would have been fun to watch them develop if you and principal had stayed out of it and let the kids hard work pay off.

  • Concerned Eagle Supporter says:

    What kind of qualities would you want in an AD that you entrust your student-athlete with? Integrity? Honesty? Puts the well-being of the program and your child ahead of his/her personal agenda? Because these qualities are the exact opposite of what Roy turner exhibits in his day-to-day and long term endeavors. Based on the information I was relayed by numerous sources, the only “in-house” issue was Roy Turner. From what I understand there were some players who would rather cry to mommy and daddy because they didn’t want to work hard or someone took their spot because they expected to be praised just for showing up. So who do they blame? Mr. Rutledge. Surely it’s his fault that they weren’t tough enough to take a little coaching. So they get mommy and daddy to call Roy and complain. Turner eats it up; he loves the complaints, because it’s his time to shine. “Look at me looking out for the best interest of your child.” Really? On numerous occasions he didn’t notify the media when there were AHS athletes signing letters of intent to play at the next level. The parents of the students had to contact the media and let them know. So what do you get when you have a mix of cry-baby families and a worse AD? 3 different coaches in 3 years. The sad part is that Turner loves it, it makes it look like he’s invested and plugged into the health and prosperity of the Ashley basketball program going forward. Let me just say, as you might already know, the Ashley basketball program, scratch that, Ashley athletics cannot have sustained success with Roy Turner as the AD. As long as he’s the AD you cannot put an end to immature parents who love to complain that their weak child doesn’t want to work hard. Which brings up the question, how much did they really buy into Coach Rutledge’s blue-collar system? When you don’t have a team full of players who aren’t on the same page, you lose. Oh wait…I forgot that’s the coach’s fault as well. It boils down to little boys who didn’t want to meet the expectation of hard work, weak parents who would rather cry than teach their children discipline and hard work, and Roy Turner who would rather play politics than do what’s right for the success and future of the athletes at Ashley High.

  • Caroline says:

    Second best record after in school history, in just half a year. What is Turner thinking? And what BS about issues with playing other sports. Check, the 2 All Conference players that started for Rutledge play 3 other sports too. Some kids are scared to work hard.

  • Eagle Parent says:

    The AD is clearly thinking about the future of Ashley Basketball program and most importantly the well being of the players. There were “in-house” issues with this coach that needed to be addressed and thankfully were. This record was horrific and the team underperformed in a weak conference last season. Plus his coaching skills left a lot to be desired. A couple of the kids (personal pets) should never have made the JV team let alone a Varsity squad. Sorry, but you need to select a capable team and then coach to win. All of the kids worked really hard but it was Rutledge’s own “BS” that cost him his job. I wish him success elsewhere.

  • Eagle Parent says:

    Looks like WWAYTV3 is blocking any truthful comments on the subject. However, I believe that Ashley made the right call on this one. FYI, 11-15 is a terrible record given the fact that most of these losses were winnable games that Ashley got coached out of in the minutes minutes e.g., coach getting technical, inserting the wrong players at crucial stages of the game, benching the most productive players in favor of politics… A lot more was going on in that locker room and at practices than may have been apparent to the casual observer. Maybe if the guy was not so arrogant he could have met with parents and administrators early on and worked through some of these issues before things spiraled out of control. I like Rutledge’s work ethic but his methods and people skills were lacking.

  • Scott says:

    We have nothing but respect & appreciation for what Coach David Rutledge taught our son. A Coach who puts academic and community above/alongside the sport is something we were extremely pleased with and is rare. Coach taught our son about dedication, work ethic (responsibility & accountability) and preparing him for real life, the priorities we honor. I don’t need to mention his knowledge of the sport that spoke for itself in how he is respected in the coaching community.

  • Ashley students says:

    Required viewing – wow. After waiting 3 1/2 hours at the school board meeting, finally a group of kids and parents were granted time to talk, although quite limited to what they could talk about – very powerful! Http//:YouTu.be/gn-hylvlPKE Starting at 1:14 minute mark.

  • Basketball Parent says:

    The blueprint has been established for an unhappy parent to remove a coach from the school. Athletic Director, Roy Turner can’t control parent complaints so coaches become expendable. There are NO legitimate complaints against Coach David Rutledge. The many parents who have children on the basketball team that aren’t afraid of hard work have the utmost respect for Coach Rutledge. Roy Turner seeks out negative feedback from certain parents, and thrives on it. Clearly his goal for the Ashley Athletic program is mediocrity!! Ashley High School NEEDS a change in their Athletic Department. We have absolutely NO confidence in Roy Turner!!!

  • Caroline Johnson says:

    According to the article about the event in support of Mr.Rutledge today, he has an appeal to the board – which has not done anything but stall for 3 hours before listening to the dozens of supporters at their last meeting. Also, according to te article the next step is Superior Court. Awesome! Go for it Coach! Would love to see the dancing around the truth and excuses there. By, at least it would be someone interested in finding the truth versus covering it up.

  • Wearing Red for Support says:

    Well done show of support today ! I am proud of my fellow students who think for themselves and are looking out for Ashley High and what is ethical. Rumors and lies won’t cut it in front of the school board or a judge. Finally, the “haters” will have to stop their lies and the Ashley Administration can get back to running he school for us and stop chasing 3 kids BS complaints. Or at least we can hope !

  • Carolina Johnson says:

    I’m sorry, but get use to that a “horrible” record. Look at the past history. He past wins and the playoff appearances. How do you improve? Commitment, hard work by the whole team to get better, stronger, faster. This year’s team was in better shape than so many of there opponents and dominated many second halves, especially 3rd quarters. How? Hard work, in the gym, track, weight room – and the guys were PROUD of that, and they should be. I don’t think they should be proud of today. Your son wants to practice just a hour and a half each day, and thinks that they will have the same success with less effort? How can he think that? Well, it starts a home, I guess, and from our Ashley AD who the team that they are the most talented team in the county. I guess he didn’t attend many games. We have smart boys, hard working boys, not the most talented. We wil look back and want that those 11 wins next year, especially if you and Roy get your way and cancel all workouts and we practice half as long as the other schools.

  • Stephen Swift says:

    In Roy we trust, and Roy trusts the kids. AD Turner had an open meeting for anyone wanting to play men’s basketball, and asked them what they wanted in a coach. The rising seniors, not surprisingly were vocal about their desires. They are excited about their senior year and want a coach that will help them, but not require too much time in the gym. They said they want someone who will help them on their shots, but during their requested hour and a half practices, not adding extra time for it. The student groups list did not include knowledge of basketball, or winning and competing as part of the wants, but Roy Turner’s confidence in the teams innate talent should carry them far. On a related noted, his student meeting on cafeteria food has lead to a menu change where pizza and cotton candy will be served every day for lunch. Look for upcoming results from his meetings with what the students want regarding homework policies and the drinking age.

  • Mark Hicks says:

    I’m 53 years old and played basketball until I was 40, and still watch and study the game intensely.

    Rutledge is one of the best High School coaches I’ve ever seen, as a coach and a person.

    Too many players think they are entitled, and are too lazy to do the hard work needed to improve their game. Time to grow up boys, before all the younger players surpass you. What will you do when momma and daddy are not they to get the coach fired?

  • Eagle Parent says:

    Next years senior Ashley basketball players will have had a new coach each year of their JV and Varsity careers. Hmmm, what’s the common denominator here people?? Time for a change in the AD department!!!

  • Diamond are forever says:

    I believe wway was trying to protect ashley from itself. See how you look now? I got news for ya ashley, that stuff happens in most lockers rooms and you can’t always help your poor little boy every time. Put your big boy pants on and deal. Really? Your players are worried about practicing too much? Worried about ya Ashley, ya slippin.

  • Eagle Parent says:

    Out coached? Look at his track record…he’s been awarded as coach of the year at every school he’s ever been too. Can’t be his coaching. Maybe lazy players? Maybe parents who haven’t instilled a sense of work ethic in their child. Maybe an AD who wants to look good in the eyes of the public so he has a smooth exit when he retires at the end of the year. He can coach, but then again, there is no accountability around the Ashley High school administration.

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