Board, coach reach settlement

Spain Park High School head football coach David Shores reached a settlement with the Hoover City Board of Education to relinquish his head coaching and teaching duties and accept a role as the district’s assistant athletic director. (File Photo)

Updated Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

HOOVER — The Hoover City Board of Education and suspended Spain Park High School head football coach David Shores entered an employment agreement for Shores to relinquish his head coaching and teaching duties and accept a role as the district’s assistant athletic director.

Shores’ employment with Hoover City Schools will end in May of 2011, Superintendent Andy Craig said at a special-called board meeting Oct. 5.

Shores said he hopes the transfer in positions, effective Oct. 11, will bring closure for Spain Park players, coaches and parents.

“I have recently been offered and decided to accept the position of Assistant Director of Athletics for the Hoover City Board of Education,” Shores said. “This opportunity comes at a time when I believe my acceptance would be beneficial to the environment at Spain Park, as well as to the football team, the coaches and the school. In my five years of service at Spain Park High School, I have always strived to be a positive influence on my student athletes, and to help each achieve his personal and team goals on a daily basis. As I advance to this next level in my career, I do so with a sense of deep pride in what we accomplished at Spain Park, and I will use my experiences at Spain Park to learn from and to continue to grow. I believe this decision will help the Spain Park players, parents and coaching staff achieve some amount of closure and allow them to continue working hard towards their respective goals for the 2010 season.”

Craig recommended that the board transfer Shores from his employment positions at Spain Park High School to a position as assistant athletic director for the school district.

In order to accept this new position, Shores relinquished his positions at Spain Park High School. Shores was employed as head football coach and teacher at Spain Park. As assistant athletic director, Shores will be paid the same salary he received in his previous position.

The agenda item was approved by board members A.W. Bolt, Donna Frazier, William Veitch and Paulette Pearson. Board member Earl Cooper abstained from voting.

Shores will report directly to Craig in his newly formed position. Shores will spend each day at the central office, and not at Spain Park, Craig said.

“The logistics and actual duties will be determined through a mutual understanding between him and I,” Craig said at the board meeting.

Craig said the settlement avoids a lengthy hearing between the two parties.

“Coach Shores agreed to be transferred to the new position because of his devotion to Spain Park High School,” Craig said in a prepared statement. “Shores disputed allegations that he engaged in misconduct toward a player at Spain Park High School. He had every right to go forward with a hearing before the board to adjudicate the matter. A hearing was expected to involve players, coaches and parents. Such a hearing would have continued for weeks — well into the remaining football season. It would have also been polarizing and disruptive to the football program and the educational environment at Spain Park High School. To avoid all that, and the expense such a hearing would have entailed, we are pleased to have reached a mutual agreement with Coach Shores and that he is willing to accept this new role. He will no longer be at Spain Park High School, but he will bring his many years of experience and leadership to serve the entire Hoover school district in a meaningful way.”

Shores’ three-year coaching contract was set to expire following the 2010 season.

Shores was placed on paid administrative leave following an alleged physical altercation with a player at a team practice Aug. 24. An investigation into the incident by the Hoover City School Board had been ongoing since the incident occurred.

Ben Berguson was named interim head coach Aug. 26 and will continue to serve in that role.