Home / Featured / McKamey issues statement, accepts–but disagrees with–one-game suspension

McKamey issues statement, accepts–but disagrees with–one-game suspension

NOTE:  This story now includes the final paragraph of Coach McKamey’s statement, which was inadvertently left out of the previous article.

Clinton football coach Randy McKamey announced in a press release this afternoon that he will not appeal his one-game suspension levied by the Anderson County Schools in response to last week’s incident following the Clinton/Anderson County game.

He will serve the suspension during Friday’s home opener vs. Powell. Jason Hamock will serve as acting head coach for the game.

In his press release, McKamey states that while he believes “[t]he determination as it relates to myself was outside of the scope of what TSSAA found was appropriate, which was that no disciplinary action was warranted,” that he “[is] choosing to accept [his] punishment of the one game suspension that was handed down by the Anderson County School administration. I will serve my one game suspension with the upmost {sic} respect, however, I do not agree with the decision.”

McKamey was the only Clinton coach involved in the heated exchange and was the only Clinton coach who faced discipline. Anderson County Athletic Director and assistant football coach Gary Terry was suspended for two games for his role in the incident, assistant coach Russ Gillum received a one-game suspension and fellow assistant Teddy Phillips was suspended indefinitely. The sanctions were handed down earlier this week.

The full press release can be viewed below.

In that statement, McKamey thanked the Clinton High School administration and community for what he described as their overwhelming support, as well as the TSSAA for “their full support and clearance in this matter.

He addressed accusations he had told an official after a Dragon was ejected for targeting late in the game, “that’s what happens when you leave your starters in,” by stating, “These comments have been grossly misrepresented. I have never been unsympathetic or disrespectful replayer on the field. For personal reasons, I am sensitive to any injured player and will always maintain the utmost sympathy for the player and the family involved.” His son Will died while playing football at the Naval Academy, a tragedy McKamey says led to a family decision that his youngest son Reagan would never play another game of football if his father couldn’t be on the sidelines, writing, “We may seem to be overprotective parents but due to having lost a son on the field during a play, we made the decision at that time that Reagan will never play without my direct and complete input as his coach.”

Reagan, a senior, will be on the sidelines tonight, though, but wearing a headset and calling offensive plays for his teammates.

Coach McKamey also said that he will meet with Powell Head Coach Matt Lowe Friday afternoon at Powell High School so they can have a formal pregame handshake despite McKamey’s suspension “to honor the pre-game tradition of shaking hands and extending our show of positive sportsmanship.”

Tune in tonnight at 7:00 for the Eye Center Pregame Show, whicih will include our weekly sitdown with Coach McKamey, during which we will discuss the incident, the suspension and eventually, tonight’s home and Region opener against the Powell Panthers. Fox & Farley Friday Night Football will be heard on WYSH and WQLA, as always, but tonight, will also be heard on our sister station WJBZ Praise FM 96.3.

(Randy McKamey statement) “I am very proud to be the Head Coach for the Clinton Dragons. I am so fortunate to be able to coach the esteemed program and have received an overwhelming welcome by the Clinton community. Raised in Clinton, Tennessee and being a Dragon myself, having the opportunity to coach not only for the team and program that instilled the love of football in me but also coach my youngest son, Reagan, has been a once in a lifetime experience.

Last Thursday, following the Mavericks v. Dragons game, our students, fans, and community unfortunately had to view a situation that highlighted poor sportsmanship and brought out the worst in some. The Anderson County School Administration determined that it was appropriate to suspend me for one game based upon the events of that night and two Anderson County High School teachers and coaches, one which was suspended indefinitely. The determination as it relates to myself was outside of the scope of what TSSAA found was appropriate, which was that no disciplinary action was warranted as it related to myself. It shocked not only myself but the Clinton and football community. The response and overwhelming show of support from my community has been remarkable and inspiring. I appreciate our principal, Dr. Tipton, Athletic Director, Brad Collette, and the TSSAA for their full support and clearance in this matter and I’m thankful to be a part of such an amazing group of co-workers and fellow supportive coaches.

Further, there have been many assumptions, rumors, and comments regarding an apparent comment I made during the game about an injured player on the opposing team. These comments have been grossly misrepresented. I have never been unsympathetic or disrespectful [to a] player on the field. For personal reasons, I am sensitive to any injured player and will always maintain the utmost sympathy for the player and the family involved.

I am choosing to accept my punishment of the one game suspension that was handed down by the Anderson County School administration. I will serve my one game suspension with the upmost respect, however, I do not agree with the decision, I have chosen to not make a statement and stay quiet to this point out of respect for my administration and community, but I believe it is imperative that I make this statement on behalf of our team and to demonstrate that injustice at any level should not be tolerated.

I have coached and taught for 14 years in the Anderson County School system followed by 11 years as the head coach and teacher at Grace Christian Academy. Never in my 25 years of coaching and teaching have I had a disciplinary action levied against me. I have an overall record of 93-37 and take pride and respect in ensuring that my players and students see me as a role model. This disciplinary action tarnishes my reputation not only as a Coach but also as teacher, father, and friend. I fully support my team, school and community and I want them to know that I will always stand up for them and for what is right just as they have demonstrated that they are willing to do for me.

The suspension not only deprives me from being able to coach my team but also deprives my son of the right to play on Friday. Due to my story, and my family’s history, I cannot allow my son, Reagan, who is a senior, to participate in the game this week. However, because of his knowledge of the game, our offense, and the respect he has for his team, we have recruited him to assist the coaching staff this Friday. Clinton needs to rest assured that the Dragons will be in good hands and that there will be a McKamey coaching on the sideline verses the Powell Panthers at our first region home game! We may seem to be over protective parents but due to having lost a son on the field during a play, we made the decision at that time that Reagan will never play without my direct and complete input as his coach. This is non-negotiable for our family. It is also important to me that the Powell Panthers know that despite the suspension, I am going to continue the tradition of offering my respect and “good luck” to Coach Matt Lowe on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. We will meet at Powell High School to honor the pre-game tradition of shaking hands and extending our show of positive sportsmanship.

The amount of support for the Dragons and myself from the Clinton community since my arrival is very humbling. I strive daily to make my community proud and to stand up for what is right for the players and families of my team. I hope and pray that the message received is that I am not conceding to an unjust determination. I am accepting the punishment and will continue fight for fair and equal treatment within Anderson County while ensuring that positive sportsmanship remains a main focus of our football program.”

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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