Football coach Chris Nixon wasn’t alone on Tuesday night when he formally rescinded his resignation and asked the Elk Grove Unified School District for his job back.
Nixon, who spent nine years as the varsity head coach of the Elk Grove Thundering Herd, was joined by hundreds of supporters who want to see the coach reinstated.
The school district gave Nixon the option to resign as football coach or face termination for his role in the construction of a structure near the football stadium. The structure was funded by a parent-lead booster club.
A district investigation concluded that the structure, which was to house equipment and provide a dressing room for the student athletes, was built without proper permits and did not have full district approval, despite the authorization from the school’s athletic director and the principal.
As result, the athletic director will be stripped of his role at the end of the school year and a district employee was terminated. Nixon, who is a school teacher within the district at Feikert Elementary, chose to walk-away as head coach of Elk Grove High School.
When speaking to the school board, Nixon accepted responsibility for mistakes that have been made in regard to the structure, but declared his desire to continue working with Elk Grove administration and staff by remaining the head coach of the Thundering Herd.
Former student athletes, including former NFL All-Pro linebacker Lance Briggs, who has donated to the school and supported the football program since he graduated back in 1999, flew in from Chicago to speak on behalf of Nixon.
Ed Lombardi, who is a legend in the Elk Grove community, and once coached the Thundering Herd where he tallied over 200 wins in the Sac-Joaquin Section, also spoke in support of Nixon, who once served as his assistant coach.
In all, 13 speakers addressed the school board in support of Nixon who is seen as much more than a football coach. The supporters, both young and old, speaking to the integrity, character of Nixon, who they feel is a great role model to his student athletes and a leader in the Elk Grove community.
The Elk Grove School District was unable to comment since it is a personnel matter, but a decision is expected by the school board sometime in the next few days.