Friday, February 24th 2023, 4:13 pm
New details surround the head football coach in Ringling. He is in the hot seat once again after abuse allegations.
The district has put Phil Koons on paid administrative leave while the OSBI investigates.
Koons has been coaching Oklahoma football for years; parents told News 9 they were concerned when they heard he was being considered for the job in Ringling years ago after resigning from two other districts.
“Like a lot of other parents, I did read some of the other articles when the rumors started going around that this had happened in the past, and it was a big concern to me,” Samantha Cob, a Ringling parent, said.
An OSBI investigation into the Ringling High School football over abuse allegations confirmed what they feared most.
“We are working closely with the OSBI and the local district, so that been being handled. We have been actively involved in that. So, we’ll allow the OSBI to continue to run, point and see that out, but they’ve been involved, we’ve been involved, so that’s an investigation we take very seriously,” State Superintendent Ryan Walters said.
Koons made a name for himself on the field in Tuttle and Clinton from 2013 to 2016. Parents said what went on behind closed doors was concerning, allegations of abuse ultimately leading to his resignation at both districts.
“You know I’ve heard horror stories about this guy exposing himself at other schools and other schools have warned and people stood up. There needs to change now, and he needs to be fired,” Randall Jackson, another concerned parent said.
“Here we are, how many more schools is it going to take before this man loses his license. He shouldn’t be around kids,” Cob said.
Former players are worried their voice won’t be heard because of Koons’ success on the field.
“I just feel like they see the wins, the state champions all that stuff…also the Heisman trophy player that he coached, and they just took that and didn’t look at anything else or any of the things that happened at Clinton and Tuttle,” Kaiden Lyle, a former player, said.
The Oklahoma NAACP has called for a Civil Rights investigation after allegations that the coach called players racial slurs.
“Ringling School District has shown a consistent and continuous pattern of egregious indifference to the harassment of students on the basis of their race, color, national origin and sex in violation of their duty under federal law,” OK NAACP President Anthony Douglas said.
“Given the documentation of the complaints, this type of action will hurt the students’ mental health as well as physical health this is very damaging, between fostering a more inclusive school environment and improving students’ academic performance, this dereliction of duty must be rectified,” Douglas said.
Koons has not responded to News 9’s multiple attempts to contact him.
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