The Rogers School Board voted 5-1 Friday to fire Trace Briggs from his job as Heritage High softball coach but to retain him as a social studies teacher. The vote comes after he allegedly made inappropriate comments to his players.
Briggs, a handful of his players, and several parents sat together waiting for the board's decision Friday. He left immediately after the hearing. 5NEWS attempted to discuss the School Board decision with his supporters, but they declined to comment.
As recommended by Rogers Superintendent Janie Darr, Briggs' firing from the coaching staff is effective immediately. He will continue to teach social studies at Heritage High School.
"The board had a hearing last Monday night and deliberated until about 11 o'clock that night, and as you heard they came back last night and deliberated another couple of hours,” said David Matthews, attorney for the Rogers School District. “The law requires them to take their action to an open board meeting, which they've done this afternoon."
Briggs has been on paid administrative leave since April 10.
According to Matthews, Briggs was terminated from his coaching position for several reasons.
"Essentially, they involved the coach, after having been warned, for inappropriate comments last year, making some inappropriate comments following a loss to one of the conference teams," he said.
The comment allegedly came after the team lost to Har-Ber High on March 15.
In a letter from Superintendent Darr to Briggs notifying him that she recommended he no longer be a coach, she writes, “You admitted that you said something like, ‘They stuck it up your butts, and they liked it.’”
Those comments are said by the board to be unacceptable and a direct violation of expectations.
In addition to Briggs' coaching termination, he is not allowed any contact with players at practices, games or other team activities.