High School Football

Swansea High School football coach’s appeal for old job turned down by school board

Greg Wright’s appeal wasn’t enough.

Lexington School District Four chose not to reinstate Wright as Swansea football coach on Thursday evening in a specially called meeting. After a more than two-hour closed executive session, the board said it wouldn’t be voting on the matter, thus upholding the school’s decision to remove Wright as coach.

“During this evening’s executive session, the board heard from coach Gregory Wright about his concerns relating to his removal as football coach at Swansea High,” school board member Doris Simmons said in a prepared statement. “Because the board is delegating decisions to the administration in accordance with board policy, the board has no official role in this matter at this time. However, the board agreed to meet with coach Wright in any concerns related to the process and the administration decision. The board understands the interest in this matter and appreciates the phone calls, emails and to hear from coach Wright.

“In hearing from coach Wright, please note the board takes personnel concerns seriously and strives to ensure that all employment decisions made by the administration and board act to serve the best interest of our statements.”

After the board’s statement, Wright shook each board member’s hand before speaking with the media. A big band of Wright supporters, including some players and Paul Porter of Cromer, Babb, Porter and Hicks, gathered in a room to hear the board’s statement.

“I appreciate the board hearing me here tonight. I appreciate the support from the community and I will continue to fight for our community and our kids. They always will be my number one priority, without a doubt. I asked the Lord to use me and I have to allow Him to do that and I trust Him wholeheartedly.”

With Wright not being reinstated, his lawyers likely will move forward with the planned lawsuit. Wright’s lawyer Lewis Cromer has called a news conference for Friday at noon to talk about the lawsuit.

“We would like to thank the public for being out here tonight. We think these issues should have, and could have, been decided in front of the public,” Porter said. “We are simply fighting for what is right and what is right for these kids is the reinstatement of coach Wright.”

The specifics on why Wright was fired are unclear, but sources told The State it might stem from a possible incident at practice last month.

Cromer disagreed with that notion, saying Wright has been a victim “of a personal agenda by a few people.”

Wright is 7-15 in two seasons as Tigers’ head 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.