A high school football coach in Maine has resigned from his post, though the true reasons why remain to be determined.
As reported by the Portland Press Herald, Deering head football coach Matt Riddell told Portland Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk on Wednesday that he needed to resign to care for an ailing family member. According to other outlets, Riddell also told Caulk that he would not return next season.
His decision to step down comes less than 24 hours before Deering is to face off against Portland in the two schools’ annual holiday rivalry game, the only Thanksgiving Day game played in the state of Maine.
According to the Press Herald, Riddell is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the NAACP, which received complaints about Deering’s behavior in connection with a player. The Maine branch of the NAACP was told that the Portland School District launched an investigation into the incident, but there were complaints about how seriously that investigation was taken.
“We notified the school administration and understood they were in the process of conducting an investigation,” Rachel Talbot Ross, the state director of the NAACP, told the Press Herald.
“There was some concern by us on the pace of the investigation. While things may be resolved tentatively, there should be expectations for the school department to conduct an investigation in a more timely and professional manner.
“The situation was of grave concern, yet I feel the school administration took it frivolously. There are deeper issues such as how it occurred and how to take action to prevent such things from happening.”
In Riddell’s absence, Deering will be led by defensive coordinator Rob Susi in the team’s Thanksgiving face off against Portland. You can get more on the historic rivalry via our Gannett partners at Portland NBC network WCSH directly below.