When David Kelley was suddenly dismissed as the head coach of the Morro Bay (Calif.) High School football team, the reports that his firing was borne of offensive speech aimed at one of his players sparked outrage. Yet one group that wasn’t upset by the incident was the very players on the Morro Bay team.
As reported by the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Morro Bay players are openly questioning whether Kelley was fired for the locker room incident with a junior varsity football player, indicating that he actually may have been dismissed because of his teams’ poor records on the field; Morro Bay is 1-9 and was 0-10 during his first season in charge in 2015.
Still, despite struggles on the field and his missteps off it, Kelley’s players have spoken up in defense of their now former head coach, whether they believe he might actually be reinstated or not.
“I love Coach Kelley, and so does every single person on our varsity team,” Morro Bay senior Rocky Brebes told the Tribune. “He was more than a coach to us. He became family, and he always had our back. Whenever we were hungry, he would always get us food. If we ever needed clothes, he would always find us some clothes. Whenever we needed help in school because of bad grades or any of that, he would always find us support.”
Jim Pugh, the father of one of his players, said, “He is human and made a mistake. He is suffering, as are his boys. He was being disrespected by a young man who thinks telling an adult to (expletive) off is acceptable. He is a good man who has nurtured and loved all of those boys.”