Oneonta school board asks for and gets coach’s resignation



Oneonta head football coach Don Jacobs makes accountability statement to school board before resigning.

Oneonta head football coach Don Jacobs makes accountability statement to school board before resigning.

At the request of the Oneonta City Board of Education, and the recommendation of Superintendent Michael Douglas, head football coach Don Jacobs presented his resignation to the board at its regular meeting Monday night. Jacobs said in a talk to the board that he had been told he could resign or face termination. He said the board cited a number of reasons why he was being asked to leave. He challenged eight reasons with quiet dignity, before walking to the front of room and handing his resignation letter to Douglas. Head basketball and tennis coach Dan Bell also resigned his coaching duties. The resignations are effective immediately.

Several members of the audience spoke on Jacobs’s behalf including Clyde Woods, grandparent of nine former Oneonta students, Danny O’Toole, former Troy University quarterback whose two sons played football for Oneonta, and Chastity Johnson, mother of Jalen Johnson, who played football for Oneonta, now playing for Georgia Tech. 16 students, presumably all players, were present in support of the coach at the meeting.

Jacobs is a Scottsboro native who played quarterback for Bear Bryant and compiled a record of 65-25 in seven seasons at Oneonta. His teams played in three straight 4A championship games from 2011 to 2013, winning the title in 2013 and often playing teams with superior talent. He leaves following a losing record for the last two seasons.

The board voted 3-1 to accept Jacobs’s resignation, with Steve Anderton, Ricky Hicks, and Tracy Shea voting in favor and board chairman Pat Adams dissenting. Board member Don Maples was not present.

In other business, the board approved the following superintendent’s recommendations:

• employment of Stephen Handley as maintenance worker for Oneonta City Schools for the 2016-2017 school year.

• maternity leave for elementary school teacher Vanna Thomas.

• maternity leave for elementary school teacher Mallory Lamb.

• Cindy O’Rear as head tennis coach for the 2016-2017 school year.

• Michael Criswell as volunteer hitting and pitching instructor for girls softball teams for the 2016-2017 school year.

• enrollment of one non-resident student for the high school.

• audited financial statements for fiscal year 2016.

• resignations of Jacobs and Bell.

The next business meeting of the Oneonta City Board of Education is March 20, at 5:30 p.m.