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Ousted prep basketball coach suing principal who wanted more minutes for his son

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

A Texas high school basketball coach who believes he was fired for failing to give the principal's son enough minutes is suing the Dallas Independent School District, according to Courthouse News Service.

A 29-year prep coaching veteran, Stanford Hill was relieved of his duties days after leading Dallas Skyline to a 15-17 record and a Class 5A postseason appearance in 2013. He led Dallas Roosevelt to the 2006 Class 3A state title and steered Skyline into the playoffs each season since taking over in 2008.

"I was told that I was relieved because of my declining record," Hill told WFAA-TV in September.

While Hill's coaching record hovered around .500 in his final three seasons at Skyline, he believes there was additional motivation behind his firing. As he detailed to the local television news station, Hill received dozens of text messages from Skyline principal Harold Wright about his son's playing time.

One text message from Wright to Hill stated: "We are fanatics like other parents. He wants to play Division One in college so we gotta help him get better." Another text: "Did (redacted) do something wrong not to start? He played 6 minutes total." And a third: "I'm not pleased." And so on and so on.

When Hill appealed his removal, the DISD assigned Wright to oversee the coach's grievance hearing, according to WFAA-TV. Naturally, his appeal was not successful. Hill is currently serving as a gym teacher after his tranfer to another school in the district without a basketball team. He told the TV news station the athletic administration further threatened his coaching future should he file another grievance.

Hence, the lawsuit. Here is an excerpt from the complaint, courtesy of Courthouse News Services.

"Mr. Wright consistently pressured Coach Hill to play Wright's son over more deserving players. As a consequence of Coach Hill's refusal to conspire with Wright to favor Wright's son at the expense of other players, Coach Hill was relieved of his coaching responsibilities and was transferred to a school that does not have a basketball program."

Meanwhile, Wright's son was a senior guard on this year's Skyline team that lost in the first round of the Class 5A postseason — just as they did under Hill's guidance the year before.

(h/t Dallas Morning News)

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