McNair fires football coach two days before opener

Michael Carvell

Michael Carvell

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.”

Roderick Moore (AJC)

Roderick Moore had three playoff appearances in four years and helped place nearly 60 McNair players in college. (AJC)

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.”

184 comments Add your comment

mike

August 27th, 2009
5:18 pm

are you kidding me! fired over a cook out at school

csquared

August 27th, 2009
5:23 pm

Fired over a miscommunication on the team MEAL? WTF? wish all the best to coach Moore cause as it seems he’s taking the high road here. You’ll get another job. hope the principal is happy with the “direction” his program’s gonna move now.

Darryl Moore

August 27th, 2009
5:26 pm

That’s how the city of Atlanta and Dekalb County schools works…a coach who cares about the kids and is not a part of the “CLIQUE” always gets harassed until they quit or get fired. I suggest home schooling…it’s SAD!!!

Jim Palmer

August 27th, 2009
5:29 pm

Lets get the full story here. Sounds like something is not being told.

OEStar68

August 27th, 2009
5:32 pm

MO, my prayers are with you that this gets settled soon so the boys nor you suffer with this “new direction”.

browndiva46

August 27th, 2009
5:33 pm

Please tell me, this is a joke, right? But I have to admit, I would have gotten the principal’s approval FIRST before I did anything on campus – honestly. I still don’t believe the coach’s action’s warrant being fired – reprimanded, yes, but not fired. Come on people, get a life. Trust me, it’s more to this story.

Wildgator

August 27th, 2009
5:37 pm

Man, I hope there is more to this – because I remember AJC doing a article McNair football about a year or so ago, how he helped get the kids scholarships. It was a pretty impressive article, considering how McNair was sending more football players to school on scholarship
then several of the quote unquote bigger named schools in the state.

Ga Dawg in Dallas, Tx

August 27th, 2009
5:41 pm

Nothing that happens in Atlanta schools surprises me anymore. There is a reason Ga schools are a joke nationally, thank God, I moved to a state where common sense is not a lost art. Texas schools are much better and the school board members have the kids best interest at heart.

Mach Diesel

August 27th, 2009
5:49 pm

How petty. Fired over where a meal was being held? We don’t need “the full story”. What’s NOT being told is the principal’s “side”, which was referred to the county spokesman. Sounds more like somebody got their panties in a bunch and wanted to exert their authority. And to do this two days before the opener? Wow.

Andy K

August 27th, 2009
5:54 pm

Please tell me there is more to this story. If not, the principal should have the explain to the team, students, and family why he thought firing the coach was the best “direction” of the program.

DC

August 27th, 2009
6:01 pm

You must be kidding me.

Mark

August 27th, 2009
6:01 pm

This is what you have with a right to work state. People fired for idiotic reasons.

DC

August 27th, 2009
6:02 pm

Are you kidding me?

JJ

August 27th, 2009
6:05 pm

The McNair principal should be the one getting fired, not the coach. I’m sorry, but that’s absolutely pathetic.

Jacket3

August 27th, 2009
6:09 pm

What a sham or shame! Something here does not add up. If it is true the “Principal” terminated the Coach over a kickofff cookout seems nutz. Somebody is not telling the whole story – and if we wait for one of the School Board politicos to speak – School will be out for winter break or over.

Come clean on the issue Principal Jones or do you have skeletons in your closet too?

Seriously?

August 27th, 2009
6:11 pm

Well? It’s journalism and it is a short article, so we’re certainly getting newsworthy information, but we’re also certainly not getting the full story. It could be that Coach was repeatedly overstepping his bounds, it could be that the Principal is anal about to heading off any potential problem from the beginning. It seems though, that the Principal’s problems are only beginning and the Coach has shown public graciousness for the opportunity he had “with the kids.” We’ll see, won’t we?

J

August 27th, 2009
6:13 pm

Thats those fine school systems of south atlanta/dekalb for you. Come on up to North Metro coach where you can be treated fairly. There’s a reason why those school systems down there are terrible and have some awful test scores, look who’s running them. Come on up north for some diversity.

BigMike

August 27th, 2009
6:23 pm

This is a case in which it makes kids suffer, No need to fire the “Coach”, a man who has helped 60 kids try to better themselves in four years !! This is all about ego’s and power, and somekid will pay the price for a grown up actions. Remember football is a game of emotions as well as physical skills, and when you do this you crush young men dreams…… One final note, Black men this is why we fall, not because of White men, but because we chose not to love each other.

grammar police

August 27th, 2009
6:26 pm

It’s not necessary to spell the phrase “quote unquote” out when you could just put the quotation marks around the phrase. Saying “quote unquote” is usually reserved for when you are speaking.

lowcountrydawg

August 27th, 2009
6:26 pm

Un-F’ng-Believeable! Sounds like the principal had an ax to grind with the coach!

BigMike

August 27th, 2009
6:27 pm

Truly if the kids want him back, they’ll come together and say,” no coach no players”! Unity wins everytime.

dansfae

August 27th, 2009
6:27 pm

Something must be going on under the dinner table.

Lady O

August 27th, 2009
6:27 pm

There is definately more to the story.

BigMike

August 27th, 2009
6:31 pm

Grammer police, Go screw yourself ! How is that for perfect grammer? We
re talking football and injustice and you come on a blog to be a complete idiot, and alot more that I can’t print. Butt sucker!!

peachesgeor

August 27th, 2009
6:36 pm

There seems to be a coach who needs a job. A coach it appears who is concerned about his players, their parents and the school. Who will give Coach Moore a job?

rwdekalbfan

August 27th, 2009
6:36 pm

This sounds like some sort of clash of personalities. With the cookout situation providing the principal the excuse he needed to end this clash of personalities. If it was something serious like abusing any of the students it would be on the evening news.

Rocko

August 27th, 2009
6:38 pm

I’ve worked with J Jones several years ago. I am sorry that McNair has to deal with that waste of academic dreg!

Cedrick (Arlington, TX)

August 27th, 2009
6:38 pm

I hope there is something more to this story because if the coach was fired for a miscommunication then thats crazy. I will reserve the rest of my comments until the rest of the story has been revealed.

DawgTB

August 27th, 2009
6:40 pm

Read between the lines. He said the conversation snowballed from there….obviously there were some things said in a heated conversation that will get you canned when you are talking to your boss.

Kerry

August 27th, 2009
6:42 pm

To BigMike You probably won’t like this one either, but you spell “grammar” with an “a” at the end of the word, not with an “e”.
Sheeeeeeeeesh!!!!!!!!

Now about football…Perhaps the coach should consult with an attorney. If he is tenured, the principal cannot just fire him because of the diretion of the program and especially just days before the seasn begins!

csquared

August 27th, 2009
6:43 pm

BigMike,” i think that was rather less cordial than he was used to,” but totally correct.
BTW, what’s the plural of screw yourself? Screwed?

roswellfan

August 27th, 2009
6:57 pm

No doubt there is more than what is being reported. Likely some firm and conflattering words exchanged in the heat of the moment. Hope that coach will surface at another program soon. More importantly, I am glad that he was able to impact so many young men with scholarships.

TROTTINGHOME

August 27th, 2009
7:05 pm

The plural of ’screw yourself’…is… ’srews self often’.

TROTTINGHOME

August 27th, 2009
7:06 pm

damn typos ….’screws self often’.

Decatur Tech Fan

August 27th, 2009
7:14 pm

As a lifeitme resident of dekalb county I can say without hesitation or reservation that this school systme SUX big ones…nasty big fat big ones. That said, it sounds like this principal is the real life manfestation (sp) of Kartman in Comedy centrals SouthPark….”You will respect my Authoritiii.”

Devildog

August 27th, 2009
7:18 pm

Principals are supposed to be administrators. This one (Jones) doesn’t appear to pack the gear to do the job—Firing a coach a week before the season begins? Why not after the season? Why not last June?
With the info about the grills on campus it looks like a CYA move by the principal, doesn’t it?
And a REALLY great example for McNair students. Beyond contemptible.

Dr. M Adams...I mean Principal Jones

August 27th, 2009
7:26 pm

Sounds like the principal is a Michael Adams wanna be….

CrazyDiamond

August 27th, 2009
7:31 pm

Hey, KERRY. Ther is no such thing as a tenured teacher in Georgia. It’s every man for himself, no collective bargaining or other employee rights here if you’re a teacher.

BadPAV

August 27th, 2009
7:38 pm

Welcome to DeKalb! If you like that, you’ll love it next week we get to execute anyone late to class!

The crazy thing is that this DOESN’T surprise anyone familiar with DK schools, but at least we’ve got Clayton beat!

Wow

August 27th, 2009
7:39 pm

sounds like an egomaniac at teh helm. Or ther is something more going on and it would have to something major to do this with 1 day to go before the game. It is Dekalb county and nothing surprises me about that sad/corrupt/low life county. Glad I don’t live there and if you look hard enough you will see that (except a small pocket) nothing good goes on there.

big bad bob

August 27th, 2009
7:57 pm

First of all, I wonder if the principal is getting a kick -back from the restaurant the team was supposed to eat at ??? That sure would explain a lot.
Secondly, Grammar police….I’m putting you in for a commendation. I get so weary of these imbeciles who can’t string a few words into coherent sentences, yet try to dominate the comments. I drive my friends crazy for correcting their grammar, both written and spoken, but I’m just trying to help them avoid sounding like idiots. It doesn’t help.

collegeballfan

August 27th, 2009
8:01 pm

Gotta be more to it than a principal with a bruised ego.

Well, no I guess there doesn’t need to be another reason. My bad.

questone

August 27th, 2009
8:08 pm

People as the coach stated. It was over power from the administrator. I have worked with him it’s totally personal and he has done an excellent job at Mcnair over these past years but it’s a shame how he is being treated so unjust over nothing. The parents decided to hold the cookout at the school afer the buses couldn’t provide transportation. Mo keep on doing what you do i havve learned alot from you over the last year thanks man.

SuperB

August 27th, 2009
8:21 pm

The principal is an idiot!

Paddy

August 27th, 2009
8:30 pm

There has to more to this story.

james grady

August 27th, 2009
8:40 pm

Teacher tenure was taken away during the Barnes years but reinstated after his defeat. However, tenure only applies to the teaching position and all other extra curricular activites are subject to school principal/county administrative staff. Ultimate responsibility of county /superintendent.

Dick

August 27th, 2009
8:46 pm

If the grills on school campus generated this move, this school system has smore problems that communication. Can someone say “power trip?” 60 scholarships isn’t something to forget. How wmany scholarships has principal helped children receive.

GaPeach

August 27th, 2009
8:50 pm

DCSS sucks in every sense of the word. They do not care about teachers, staff, or students. You guys think this principal is an idiot. Have you heard the superintendent speak….give me a break. We do not have Clayton County beat. If the news media knew about all of the backward decisions that have been made this year by the board and administration we would loose our accreditation, too. We need to all change direction.

Hairofthedawg

August 27th, 2009
8:54 pm

In Cherokee COunty the basketball goals were removed from one of the gyms because it was deemed unsafe to play basketball in the gym. Recently a girl broke her arm in the same gym during recess. Go figure how the school system can rationalize that one. Coach Moore’s job loss sounds like a guy in charge who has a personal issue with the Coach and disregards all the good the man does in molding boys into young men.

Dekalb is STUPID

August 27th, 2009
9:09 pm

From the school system that sent its teachers to a week of preplaning on a Monday only getting them a schedule four days later(new untried computer system), one knows the idiots are are running the asylum.