Parents demand answers after coach fired - WSMV Channel 4

Parents demand answers after coach fired

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PLEASANT VIEW, TN (WSMV) -

Parents weren't happy with the principal of Cheatham County's Sycamore High School.

"She forgets this is our school. This is our tax money. She is on our time," said parent Mary Seay.  

They gathered at the school Tuesday and Wednesday to let it be known.

"I want the truth. I want to know why this is going on," said parent James Binns. 

One by one, parents marched into the principal's office demanding an answer to the question, "Why did you fire our wrestling coach, Steve Hamblin?"

"It came as a shock. I did not expect when I walked in that office yesterday to be told that I was going to be let go," Hamblin said. 

Hamblin isn't accused of doing anything wrong. In fact, it seems he's done just the opposite.

"When Steve started this program he had three wrestlers. We had 41 sign up this year," Binns said.

Last year he took the team to the state championship for the first time.

"I thought that I would be judged on my merits," Hamblin said.

The students clearly love him.

"I mean, I'm going to college because of him," said recent graduate Otto Dowlen.

Parents and students told Channel 4 he's even tough when he needs to be.

"If you are playing around in school or you get in trouble, you don't wrestle. You don't have good grades, you don't wrestle," Dowlen said. 

The principal told Channel 4 they fired Hamblin because they prefer to have a faculty member acting as head coach. 

"We appreciate coach Hamblin's service to our school and the community. At this time, we feel it is in the best interest of our schools and students to go in a different direction," district officials said.

For parents and students, that response wasn't good enough and they said they aren't letting their wrestling coach go down without a fight.

"We plan on picketing in the morning. We plan on getting with the director of education. We plan on keeping the media involved because this is totally not right," Seay said.

Hamblin made $1,500 per year to coach, the same as faculty coaches make for doing the job.

School officials said they don't have a policy requiring coaches to be faculty members and there are other non-faculty head coaches working at the school now.

Officials wouldn't comment on whether they now plan to fire the other non-faculty coaches as well. 

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