Dothan City Schools votes to not renew assistant coach’s contract following controversy

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Dothan City Schools decided Friday morning to not renew former assistant football coach Timothy Gillespie’s contract following controversial statements made on Facebook.

The board made the decision in a 5-2 vote.

Gillespie was removed from his position earlier this week for comments made in regards to the unrest following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

“This particular coach will not be part of the football team,” Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said in a virtual press conference earlier this week. “He will not be a presence. He will not be a coach with us.”

Now, his contract will not be renewed, effectively terminating his job with DCS once it ends. However, not all the school board members agreed with the superintendent’s recommendation to simply let the contract expire, calling for harsher action instead.

“If we have people employed and their character thinks like this and they’re dealing with our children every day, then we don’t need this kind of person with this kind of character based on what was said,” District 1 Board Member Brenda Guilford said.

Guilford said she believed Gillespie should be outright fired.

“We don’t need this person going somewhere else and being able to impact our children when the person’s thought process is as it is,” she said.

District 2 Board Member Franklin Jones said he can’t see the former coach should be able to teach any black athlete again.

“I’m sorry this happened,” Jones said. “I’m sorry this happened at this time. I regret it happened, but it’s not good for anybody.

You can watch the board’s full deliberation on the matter in the video above.

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