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School Officials Split on Retaining Controversial Coach

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Copyright 2017 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

 

The replacement for Darran Powell as Dunbar football coach remained unclear after the vote Tuesday night. The school district may repost the job this week.

Darran Powell is out as the Dunbar High School football coach.

On Tuesday, the Dayton Public Schools board was to vote on 97 personnel items at once, but board member Joe Lacey asked that the vote on Powell be handled separately. The other 96 items were approved unanimously.

When the board voted on Powell's contract, the margin was 3-2 in favor of retaining Powell, but a majority four votes was needed.

Robert Walker, John McManus and Hazel Rountree voted yes, while Lacey and Sheila Taylor voted no. Ron Lee recused himself because he had been absent from too many meetings in which the issue was discussed. Board member Adil Baguirov was not present.

DPS Human Resources Director Judy Spurlock said the runner-up candidate would be considered or the position would be publicly reposted, possibly this week. The board will have to approve the hire.

Rountree called it a travesty.

"This situation was not handled properly," she said. "But the people responsible are not being held accountable. I'm not going to be complicit in punishing one person when lots of people should be punished. Many people were at fault."

Powell had been supervising offseason conditioning. He is a paraprofessional at the school. He did not respond to messages for comment.

All DPS boys and girls athletics programs were placed under a three-year athletics probation and the school district was fined $10,000 by the Ohio High School Athletic Association this past spring.

That followed separate investigations of accusations by Dunbar football coaches that district AD Mark Baker had instructed the Wolverines to lose a Week 10 football game to Belmont last season so both teams would qualify for the postseason.

Pete Pullen resigned as Dunbar's AD soon after the Wolverines forfeited Weeks 9-10 games for playing an academically ineligible player, missing the postseason.

Despite the mess, Dayton's school board gave Baker a two-year contract extension.

Rountree was absent from that meeting and Lacey was the only board member to vote against that extension, saying at the time, "The rallying around the people responsible for this really disgusts me."

Rountree took a similar tack Tuesday night.

"If they all got some punishment, that would have been fine," Rountree said. "But we can't just punish one and sweep this mess under the carpet. I'm not going to be a part of it. It infuriates me that one person is taking the hit for many adults who are responsible."

That extends a turbulent period of uncertainty for City League football coaches and ADs. New interview guidelines were set that prohibited coaches from also serving in a dual AD role.

Also, prospective coaches and ADs apparently would not be considered if they had been involved in any violation of OHSAA rules or OHSAA reprimand.

The retained football coaches are Earl White (Belmont), Jim Place (Ponitz) and Brian Carter (Thurgood Marshall). Len Hampton Jr. was approved to succeed John Wortham as Meadowdale's football coach. Stivers does not have football.

The returning ADs are White (Belmont), Quiona Boffman (Dunbar), Chad Miller (Meadowdale), Tony Curington (Ponitz), Randy Risner (Stivers) and Arimya Muhammed (Thurgood Marshall).

White was the only incumbent City League coach/AD.

"I'm happy to be given the opportunity to continue to service the students of Belmont High School," he said.

It was a surprise turnabout of DPS's revised hiring process. Powell initially had been told he had been rehired as football coach by Dunbar principal Crystal Phillips this spring. DPS responded by holding a second round of interviews for all fall coaches and ADs, most after the school year had ended.

Powell also has been a Dunbar assistant basketball and track coach.

Contact these writers at sports@coxohio.com

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June 21, 2017
 
 
 

 

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