Rick Jones, who coached El Dorado to three Empire League titles and nine playoff appearances in 12 years, has been fired as the school's football coach.
Jones contended that a few unhappy parents were responsible for his ouster, but Principal Karen Wilkins denied that that was the case.
"The concerns of the parents are not what influenced my decision," said Wilkins, who is in her second year as principal at El Dorado. "I feel [the program] needs a new direction and a fresh start. . . . maybe bringing a little more unity to the program."
Jones said the key issues were a hazing incident in which the administration suspended seven football players for the last game of the season after they were videotaped stuffing another player into a locker.
"Some parents were upset with me that I didn't stand up for their kids, but the victim is the kid who got put in the locker," Jones said. "[The parents] blamed me for that."
The Golden Hawks finished 2-8 last season, 1-4 in the Empire League, and missed the playoffs for the first time in nine years.