Former Swansea football coach Greg Wright will have a chance to state his case before the Lexington Four School Board in hopes of getting his job back.
According to Wright’s attorney, Lewis Cromer, a special Lexington Four board meeting has been scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the district headquarters. Wright will go before the board in executive session, meaning it will be closed to the public. Lawyers for both sides will be allowed to attend but won’t able to go into the closed session.
“We asked that it will be open, but lawyers won’t be present in the room, and he can freely go before the board,” Cromer said. “That is positive. That is what they set up.”
Cromer hopes that the school board will reinstate Wright’s job as coach and athletic director. If that doesn’t happen, they will go forth with a lawsuit.
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“Objective and goal is coach Wright getting back to coach these players. Coach Wright isn’t a litigious person,” Cromer said. “He has been damaged by knee-jerk reaction that wasn’t true or not his fault. Time keeps marching on and the forgotten people are the players. There is a limited amount of time, and it is tough on players. I would hope they would realize that.”
The first official practice around the state begins July 27.
Lexington Four School District released a statement regarding Wright and Thursday's scheduled meeting. The statement read:
"Lexington County School District 4 strives for excellence in leadership and instilling its mission in each of our students and employees to grow, serve, and innovate. To that end, when the District makes employment decisions, our administration adheres to District Board Policy and the legal standards that govern employers, including public schools. Ultimately, our primary concern is insuring the safety and well being of our students, staff, and community stakeholders.
As a practice, the District and its Trustees cannot provide confidential and sensitive information relating to the District’s employment decisions, as we also have a responsibility to ensure that the privacy and well being of our employees is protected. The District must balance that interest with those of our stakeholders who seek to learn more about decisions that may impact our students.
The District has received requests to share information concerning Mr. Gregory Wright and his employment with the District and we understand the public’s interest in this matter. We will follow our practice of refraining from public comment about sensitive and confidential employment inquiries, however we are able to share that the Board extended an invitation to Mr. Wright to attend its next meeting on July 12th and meet with them during that time in Executive Session."
Parents, players and members of the Swansea community held a meeting Monday night in support of Wright, who they believe was unfairly dismissed. There are signs around town “Do the Right Thing” in support of the coach.
“It was crushing for me because, ultimately, I care about those kids,” Wright said. “I want the best for them and to teach them how to do the right thing so good things will happen to them. Right now, it is putting them in a bind.
“I trust in my lawyer to do the right thing, so I've just been taking it one day at a time and everything will work out how it is supposed to.”
Wright is 7-15 in two seasons as the Tigers’ coach. Swansea made the playoffs both years. Before coming to Swansea, he coached at Eau Claire and led the Shamrocks to three wins in 2015. EC was winless the previous three years.
Wright was a North-South selection at Cross High before walking on to South Carolina. He eventually earned a scholarship and played mainly on special teams and outside linebacker from 2005-07.