HS Coach Resigns Following Complaint from Parent

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A California high school football coach reportedly submitted his resignation after complaints from parents about how he handled the final moments of a football game.

The Union Democrat reports that Casey Kester, coach at Bret Harte (Calif.) High School, submitted his resignation this week three days after he instructed his team to take a knee rather than run a play in the final minute of a 21-3 game in which his team was trailing. 

That decision didn’t sit well with at least one parent, who spoke up at a meeting of the school board to voice his concerns. 

Damien Stephens, whose son is on the Bret Harte team, spoke to the school board prior to Kester’s resignation about the kneel-down, and the interactions Kester allegedly had with Stephens’ son after the game.

“The kneeled at the end of the game with about 40-45 seconds left,” Stephens told the Union Democrat. “They were trailing 21-3, by 18 points, and they kneeled to run the clock out. That’s not what I expect coaches to be teaching young people on the football team. Taking a knee like that is like asking a wrestler to lay on his back and wait to be pinned.” 

The day after the school board meeting Kester submitted his resignation, effective immediately. 

The Bret Harte program has reportedly faced issues related to low player turnout. The Union Democrat reports that this year’s varsity team has dressed 15 or 16 players a game, and has had to deal with suspensions and injuries on top of that. 

“I’m not happy about the coach leaving,” Stephens told the Union Democrat. “I didn’t have anything personal with him. He’s been dealing with a difficult task. But some things have not been right, and our family stands up for what’s right.”

An interim head coach will lead the program for the duration of the football season.

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