Despite being involved in the August 2021 death of a football player while head coach at Fort Scott Community College, former head coach Carson Hunter has landed a new coaching job.
Kansas City's National Public Radio flagship station KCUR has discovered that Hunter is now a part time coach at the University of West Florida in Pensacola.
“Staff was aware of the unfortunate death of a student-athlete that occurred at Fort Scott Community College,” Argonauts Athletic Director Dave Scott said in an email to KCUR.
WFU athletic department officials would not answer questions about how they first became aware of the death at FSCC or whether they have concerns about Hunter having contact with players given the incident in Fort Scott. They also declined to say whether his current position could lead to a full time coaching job for Hunter.
Tirrell Williams, a 19-year-old lineman from Louisiana, died last August after the team was forced to run sprints, according to interviews with FSCC players and the trainer at the time.
A death certificate provided to the family said he suffered a brain injury from lack of oxygen, septic shock and muscle tissue damage.
The sprints weren’t part of the planned preseason workout. Players interviewed by KCUR said the team was being punished because Hunter, a lawyer-turned-football coach, found a candy wrapper on the field.
Hunter essentially lost his job when the FSCC Board of Trustees abruptly eliminated the 93-year-old football program in November 2021. FSCC president Alysia Johnston denied the death of Williams had anything to do with ending football at the college, citing instead a lack of money. She also said the college has no culpability in Williams’ death, KCUR reported.
“We could find nothing that we did that contributed to the young man's very unfortunate and tragic death,” she told KCUR in December.
An attorney for the Williams family says he sent a letter to FSCC in April putting the college on notice that a lawsuit will most likely be filed.
Emails and documents obtained by KCUR through the Florida Public Records Act show Hunter first had contact with West Florida head football coach Pete Shinnick in December, four months after Williams died.
“Have a great Christmas and if you are looking for a spot to land for the spring let me know,” Shinnick said in an email to Hunter. “I would like to talk with you about that.”
Hunter signed his job application on Jan. 11, 2022. He listed his duties at FSCC as “Recruit, Develop and Lead the football team.”
Hunter is making $10.25 an hour for 20 hours a week on a six-month renewable appointment, according to WFU.