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SPENCER, Tennessee: Tyler Sapp recently became the former head coach of the Van Buren County High School girls basketball team when he was relieved of his duties on Nov. 1.
The school’s administration made a decision that the team would be better suited with a female coach to replace Sapp, and abruptly dropped him as the coach. The move came weeks prior the Eaglettes’ season debut against Soddy-Daisy.
News headlines caught the discriminatory firing, which evolved into backlash for VBCHS. The school was pressed on their decision — compounded by the legal action that Sapp had at his disposal based on the sexist standard.
Per WC Sports Authority, Sapp was brought back in for a meeting with the admin and announced on Thursday (Nov. 11) that the school brass offered his job back. The coach gladly accepted and led the team in practice after.
Sapp still served as an Econ teacher on staff, but admitted that coaching was the muse for his professional work.
“This is the whole reason I went into teaching. I want to coach,” Sapp commented, following the news of his firing. Sapp had to be excused from work for three days to mentally cope with the firing.
Sapp had enjoyed a successful tenure as the Eaglettes’ head coach in his five seasons. He won the 2020-2021 District 5-A Coach of the Year award after a 24-3 season finish, and maintains a winning overall record of 86-65.
Reports speculated that the school feared litigation from Sapp, immediately backtracking their considered decision to look for a female coach. At the time of Sapp’s firing, there had been no announced hire for the position or leading candidate coming from the decision-makers; including school principal Katina Simmons, director of schools Cheryl Cole and assistant principal Drew Campbell.
Sapp’s coaching predecessor in Cole — who partook in the decision — was assumed the fill in for the coaching role, which she temporarily did.
Though the reinstated coach is coercively back in the good graces of the school’s administration, Sapp has remained mum on going through with legal action against VBCHS.
“[T]here’s still concern in the back of your mind because the same people who removed me are still in charge,” Sapp admitted.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela