School Board Responds Concerning Coach Allen

   Written by on August 25, 2017 at 11:06 am

By Averett Jones, Editor

Since last week’s article on Randolph-Henry Coach J. R. Allen’s coaching stipends not being approved The Messenger has continued to attempt to get statements from the Charlotte County School Board members.  All seven were emailed last Wednesday and given the opportunity, albeit on short notice, to respond.

In the vote regarding Allen, according to the minutes, “On motion by Mr. Berkley, seconded by Mr. Devin and carried with a vote of 6 yeas, 1 nay (Redmond), the Board approved the personnel recommendations with the exception of the R-H Varsity Baseball Coach and the CMS Golf Coach.”

The Messenger followed up with phone calls last week attempting to find answers to the following questions:

Why did you vote to remove J. R. Allen from the coaching positions?

Were there previous discussions regarding Allen? If so, were head coach Chris Holt and Superintendent Nancy Leonard included in them?

How many people contacted you regarding the incident at the Keysville ballpark?

Were these people from your district?

Had any steps been taken to remediate any deficiencies in Allen’s performance?

For those who cited closed session confidentiality we explained we were not asking what happened in the closed session.

Larry Fannon responded, “I not going to answer that. What was done was done. I am not going to comment. Thank you, Averett. I have no comment” and hung up.

Bill Devin explained, “The incident at the Keysville ballpark had nothing to do with my decision. Each individual on the board has his (or her) own reason for voting as they did.

“I’ve received some complaints over the past three or four years regarding the quality of his coaching. With the caliber of the teams we have fielded in the last three years we should have gone deeper into the state tournament play.

“With the many players that we have had to graduate from Randolph-Henry with full baseball scholarships, my expectations were simply not met. I observed teams that we played early in the season would improve and go deep into tournament play with our team seeming to be no better at the end of the season than at the beginning of the season.

“The school board did not make this decision lightly. We debated over one and a half hours before arriving at this decision. The 6/1 vote speaks volumes. All things considered, in my opinion it was best for our R-HHS baseball program to go in a different direction.”

Kenny Redmond stated, “Based on the information I heard I voted No.”

Jay George returned our call but refused to speak on the record.

JonPaul Berkley returned our call and left a message. When we called him back he asked if he could call back in 20 minutes. No return call has been received as of press time.

Henry Carwile and Gloria Talbot did not respond to our email or phone call.

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