A Montana school board voted unanimously to fire a prep football coach who allegedly sent inappropriate texts to students and oversaw boxing matches at a “leadership camp” that led to one student-athlete requiring reconstructive surgery.
The Livingston Public Schools Board of Trustees voted 9-0 to relieve second-year Park High football coach Bruce Knerr of his duties, according to the Billings Gazette.
Videos obtained by the Gazette show students sparring in lightweight boxing gloves under Knerr’s watch at the center of the gymnasium floor at nearby St. Mary’s Catholic School, where Park High’s football program was hosting a leadership camp.
Park junior Austin Peterson suffered five fractures to his eye socket and naval cavity during a boxing match and required reconstructive surgery at a hospital in Spokane, Wash., the 17-year-old’s father told the local paper. Making matters worse, Knerr was aware Peterson had suffered two previous concussions, the boy’s father added.
“His skull was smashed in a depth of nine millimeters, putting pressure on the brain,” Austin’s father Tim Peterson told the Billings Gazette.
In addition to the boxing incident, the school district also investigated “inappropriate texting” between Knerr and his players, Park superintendent Don Viegut told the paper. The Rangers finished 1-8 during Knerr’s first season in 2015. Park’s football team is scheduled to open the season on Aug. 26 at Stevensville.