Wednesday, the Anderson County school system handed down discipline in connection to an altercation between coaches following last week’s Clinton/Anderson County football game.
Anderson County Athletic Director and assistant coach Gary Terry was given a two-game suspension and stripped of his football game administrator’s role; Maverick assistant coach Russ Gillum was suspended for one game; and assistant coach Teddy Phillips was suspended indefinitely.
Clinton Head Coach Randy McKamey was suspended for one game, but has said he plans to appeal the suspension this afternoon. None of the Anderson County coaches are expected to appeal.
Both coaching staffs were also ordered to participate in a joint off-season sportsmanship seminar and do a community service project together before the start of the 2019 season.
The altercation apparently grew out of McKamey’s frustration that Anderson County still had their starters in the game in the fourth quarter while holding a large lead. During an injury timeout, McKamey reportedly voiced his frustrations to Terry, and their discussion continued after the game before other coaches and School Resource Officers intervened.
Anderson County’s investigative report indicated that Terry had crossed through the line of players shaking hands to get to Coach McKamey. Terry told WYSH Wednesday morning that the two men have been friends for a very long time and insists that they were not arguing and was emphatic that he and McKamey had not pushed or shoved one another, but an SRO and Russ Gillum stepped in between them, believing that they were having a dispute.
The report states that McKamey got angry when Gillum put his hands on him and they got into a heated verbal exchange. Phillips, apparently trying to split up McKamey and Russ Gillum, allegedly pushed McKamey and they got into an argument. No punches were thrown.
Terry told this reporter that he had accepted the two-game suspension because, as an administrator, he should be “held to a higher standard.”
After every game, officials submit a game report to the TSSAA and one official reported that after a Clinton player had been ejected from the game in the fourth quarter for targeting, the official told McKamey of the ejection and received a reply along the lines of, “that’s what happens when you leave your starters in the game.”
Again, these sanctions were handed down by the school system, and not the TSSAA, which said Wednesday that they are taking no action because the schools are handling the incident themselves.
Anderson County High School Principal Ben Downs called the incident “very unfortunate,” while his counterpart, CHS Principal Dr. Caleb Tipton said the incident was “regrettable.” Both principals say that good sportsmanship is expected from players and coaches alike at each school.
The suspensions begin Friday.