Wyoming coach resigns after forcing offensive survey on players

Cameron Smith

A high school football coach in Wyoming has resigned after orchestrating what may be the single-least appropriate motivational tactic in recent years, handing his players a "Hurt Feelings Report" in which students were asked to select from various offensive options to describe why they were upset.

Buffalo High School football team

As first reported by the Buffalo Bulletin, Casper Star-Tribune and The Advocate before being circulated throughout the Internet, Buffalo (Wyo.)  High football coach Pat Lynch offered up a questionnaire to his players that offered the following possible reasons for their disappointment, as reported by The Advocate (Warning: Some of the choices are pretty abhorrent):

The survey, under a list of reasons for hurt feelings, includes such choices as "I am a queer," "I am a little bitch," and "I have woman like hormones." It asks for the name of the "little sissy filing report" and his "girly-man signature," plus the "real-man signature" of the person accused of causing hurt feelings.

You can see a full copy of the survey here.

After an investigation into the survey, Lynch tendered his resignation on Wednesday, with the Buffalo school board accepting it days later. Still, the now-former coach will be allowed to continue as a guidance counselor at the school.

Lynch offered the following statement, which was read at the school board meeting which officially ended his 13-year tenure as the school's head football coach.

Buffalo Wyoming High School football coach Pat Lynch

"I would like to apologize for my lack of judgment and the poor choice that I made from my position as head football coach for Buffalo High School. I know that this situation has caused you pain and discomfort, and for that I am truly sorry. As a person and a professional, I believe I will learn and grow from this experience and use it to help others.

"I appreciate having had the opportunity to coach in this community for the past 22 years. It has been a rewarding experience. I am eager to earn back your trust as I continue to serve in a profession that I truly love."

Lynch has been on administrative leave for more than two weeks and was not allowed to coach his team's two playoff games, culminating in a 21-14 state semifinal loss to Douglas (Wyo.) High.

Meanwhile, the school district's superintendent, Dr. Rod Kessler, said that Lynch will be given the chance to regain the community's trust as a school counselor, even if the school board is less than pleased with how the incident has scarred a wildly successful prep football program; Buffalo has reached the state playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons and won two state titles under Lynch's watch.

"[Lynch] screwed up, he screwed up big time," Kessler told the Star-Tribune. "The coaching, we didn't want that to be the issue anymore. We wanted him to have his priority back where it was as a counselor. None of us are happy that it happened. It's a black eye to the district. And it's a black eye to Pat.

"We're going to work with Pat and have him continue doing the good things he was doing prior to this mistake. Our hope is that we can mend things we need to mend and gain back the trust and get the reputation that he needs to gain back as a professional."

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