A group of Fossil Ridge High School parents called for the reinstatement of former football coach Brian Tinker and the removal of principal Will Allen on Tuesday night.
During the public comment portion of the Poudre School District’s board of education meeting, about 15 students, parents and community members were present to state their case in support of Tinker. Because Fossil Ridge’s group was given 10 minutes to address the board, Randy Russell, a parent of a Fossil Ridge football player, spoke on their behalf.
“At this time, I would like to request two things,” Russell said. “First, I would like the board to look into the merits of coach Tinker’s non-renewal, pending findings of his employment review, I ask that we have our coach back immediately.
“Second, I would ask that the Board of Education probe Fossil Ridge High School and explore the loss of confidence and failed leadership of Mr. Allen. I would move for his immediate removal from the position of Fossil Ridge principal.”
Much of Russell’s speech to the board involved character testimony from a variety of players, parents and community members, calling him “more than a coach” and a “father figure.”
The board listened to Russell in silence and did not respond to his concerns, thanking him for his time. Danielle Clark, PSD’s Executive Director of Communications, said the district had no comment about the requests made by Russell.
Tinker, who was not present Tuesday, has chosen to not comment publicly since his removal.
Fossil Ridge announced March 25 that Tinker would not return after coaching the previous two seasons. He went 5-5 and helped the SaberCats reach the Class 5A playoffs in both seasons, something no other Fossil Ridge coach had accomplished.
Allen said the decision to not renew Tinker’s contract was his, citing “difference of vision and leadership.” Russell said a vision for the program has not been given to players or parents and that there has been a “complete and utter loss in confidence and trust in our leadership at Fossil.”
Citing personnel policy, Allen and Poudre School District officials have declined to comment on specifics of the decision to not renew Tinker’s contract.
During his first season, Tinker was a teacher at Fossil Ridge. His position was one of several cuts at Fossil Ridge following the 2014-15 school year.
A job posting seeking a new football coach was posted on the PSD website last week. Allen hasn’t given a timeline for the hiring of Tinker’s replacement.
Offensive coordinator Chris Tedford has been named interim coach until a full-time hire is made.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.
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