McNair High School fired its football coach two days before the team’s season opener.
Roderick Moore, coach of the Mustangs for the last four years, said he was informed of his termination by McNair principal James Jones on Thursday.
“[Jones] said he wanted to ‘move in another direction,’” Moore told the AJC. “I was disappointed. I told him I felt like it was not a wise decision, considering the boys.
“The kids are the most important thing. We’re here for the kids, not because of personal things between adults. It’s about the children, and I think along the way, that message got lost in this situation.”
Jones and DeKalb County athletics director Ron Sebree declined to comment on Moore’s removal, referring all inquiries to county spokesperson Dale Davis.
“There were some issues, some concerns that led to the decision,” Davis said, declining to provide details. “He was removed at the discretion of the principal.”
Moore, 40, posted a 26-18 record in four years, guided the Mustangs to three appearances in the state playoffs, and helped nearly 60 players earn college scholarships.
John April, who is McNair’s athletics liaison, has been named as school’s interim coach and oversaw practice on Thursday. The Mustangs play Stephenson at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at DeKalb’s Hallford Stadium.
Moore said he was called to the principal’s office after “miscommunication” over the team’s pre-game meal last Saturday. Moore said his players were initially scheduled to eat at Panthersville Stadium before the scrimmage. However, Moore said he was informed late last Friday that the county school buses used for transportation would be delayed by two hours.
Moore said he then decided to host the meal at McNair, with parents and booster club members bringing cooking grills on school grounds rather than at Panthersville. Moore thought his principal had been told of the change of plans, but later found out differently.
“[Jones] didn’t know about it, and said that permission wasn’t given by him.” Moore said. “He had concerns over the grills being on campus, and the conversation snowballed from there.”
“I don’t think it’s fair, but sometimes life isn’t fair. I appreciate my experience at McNair, and feel blessed that I was able to touch the lives of so many outstanding young men. I wish nothing but the best for the football program.”