A Virginia high school released a statement on Wednesday claiming the leader of its state championship football team resigned to focus more time on his family, but the coach is claiming administrators didn't renew his contract for running up the score.
The bizarre tale of Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan Catholic High football coach Carl Turner's departure is chronicled in The Virginian-Pilot, and the only certainty at this point is that the man who led the Crusaders to a Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division 2 state championship this past fall is out of a job.
Turner told the paper he received a text message Wednesday from BSCHS athletic director Corey Mistretta at 6:30 a.m. and had an ominous feeling about his future. "Today's my day," he reportedly thought. A few hours later the school released this statement.
"Coach Carl Turner has decided to step down from his position as head football coach at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School. Coach Turner expressed that he would like to spend more quality time with his family, enjoy watching his son play college football and focus on his professional career."
Turner's son Pierce was an All-State senior linebacker this past fall, when his father captured VISAA Division II Coach of the Year honors. While Pierce has received interest from several Division I schools, Carl wasn't prepared to give up his coaching reins.
"When I got into (Principal Dennis) Price's office, he looked at me and said, 'We're not going to renew your contract,'" Turner told the paper. "I asked why, and he said 'Because we told you not to run the score up and you chose to run the score up on teams.'"
Bishop Sullivan Catholic started the season with a 37-0 win over Isle of Wight (Va.) Academy and won all 12 games by an average of 27.6 points. The largest margin was a 62-6 defeat of Newport News (Va.) Hampton Roads Academy on Oct. 25 -- hardly the type of blowout that would catch Prep Rally's eye -- but even Turner admits he piled on.
"A real man would have fired me the day after the last game," Turner told The Virginian-Pilot, claiming he was coaxed into the original statement. "But I got fired because I run the score up on opposing teams. They told me not to and I defied them and did it anyway."
Surely, there must be more to this story. And there is. Turner was suspended two games earlier in the season after hosting a postgame party at his home, according to The Virginian-Pilot. He allegedly discovered several players drinking and self-reported the issue to Mistretta. Turner believes the matter had nothing to do with his departure, telling the paper that local police approved his handling of it.
While the administration refused comment to The Virginian-Pilot, it doesn't appear as though this saga will go quietly into the night.
- - - - - - -