Capital High School football coach steps down after battle with school board

Capital High School football coach steps down after battle with school board

A notable high school football coach who was beloved by many players announced he is stepping away from the field after what is being described as a battle with the school board.

Jon Carpenter was Capital High School’s football coach for 11 years. In 2014, his team brought home the state championship. Carpenter was named 2017’s Coach of the Year by the West Virginia Schools Athletic Coaches Association.

The decision to step down was hard, but Carpenter called it years in the making.

“I’m not quitting because I don’t love it,” Carpenter said.

After his departure, he has voiced his concerns about what he calls inequities between Capital and other Kanawha County football programs.

As of Tuesday, the former coach has no plans to return to Laidley Field, which is a place the Capital football team shares with the University of Charleston along with other athletic events. The high school team does not have a field of its own.

“You’re at Laidley Field, look around. Where does it recognize they won state championships or anything like that? Things aren’t right,” Carpenter said.

After 11 years at the held, Carpenter said the biggest rival he faced wasn’t under the Friday night lights.

“Everything Kanawha County does is skewed in a way that doesn’t help Capital High School,” Carpenter said. “You want what everyone else has, get in the car and drive around and see the nice fields everyone else has.”

With no field of Capital’s own, Carpenter said it felt like his team was always playing on the road.

“In the last three years, we’ve had 50 practices cut short, moved or something,” he said.

The Kanawha County Board of Education released a statement, saying meetings were held discussing practice times, Laidley Field received updates over the years, and Capital’s branding is on the pressbox, scoreboard, and east end zone.

“A few signs that say Capital High School? That was done last year because I wrote a big email,” Carpenter said. “There’s nothing there that celebrated the history.”

Concerns were also raised over the levy money that gave every county football team, besides Capital, a new turf surface, he said.

The board says Capital received different improvements, including a turf field on campus.

“That we weren’t allowed to use. The football team was never allowed to use. It was up there last year and we were never allowed to use it. I was told it was the back up to the back up to the back up,” Carpenter said.

Former Capital football players, like Logan Spurlock, call Carpenter a father figure, someone who’s always there.

“He loved everyone and even if he would get mad at you, minutes later he’d make up,” Spurlock said. “He’s easy going like that. He’s a lovable figure. You can’t not like him.”

Carpenter said the decision, and leaving the team, is gut wrenching.

“It’s hard,” he said. “I’m going to miss those guys down there.”

Coach Carpenter said he talked to a lot of players before he made his decision and the school board did thank him for his years of service and wished him well.

The following is the full statement from the Kanawha County Board of Education:

The Kanawha County Board of Education has worked to address concerns from Mr. Carpenter regarding the football program for years. We have made much progress and will continue to address any issues that are brought to us.
Specifically, we want to make sure to clarify the following:
Capital High School was indeed included in the 2018 excess levy passed by voters. Specifically, from the excess levy, Capital has received a new roof, a new HVAC system and a turf field on campus that can be used by multiple sports teams and extracurricular groups.
District administrators facilitated a meeting with CHS coaching staff, school staff, district staff and the University of Charleston President and UC staff to discuss Laidley Field usage and length of practice time for Capital, and make sure all issues had been addressed.
Capital High School does run the concessions and benefit from concession purchases at Laidley Field.
The east end zone of Laidley Field is branded for the Capital football team, there is new CHS signage on the press box, and branding is included on the scoreboard.
Laidley Field has received many upgrades through the years – well before other KCS schools had turf – including but not limited to: upgrade to lights, upgrade to scoreboard, upgrades to turf/track, renovation of CHS locker room with new lockers, paint, epoxy floor and light fixtures.
We thank Mr. Carpenter for his years of service to Capital High School and the Cougar football program. We wish him well in his future endeavors.

The previous National Football League running back and Bay Area local was as of late employed to be a secondary school mentor in Contra Costa County.

Monte Vista High School in Danville is re-trying its field with perfect timing for the fall football season. The field is all rock now, yet Anderson would already be able to see its latent capacity.

“You know, opportunity, plays, swarms, fervor,” he said.

Alongside the new turf, the school is inviting Anderson as its new football trainer.

“I believe it’s a lovely chance,” Anderson said. “Clearly coming from my playing profession, training is something I realized I needed to do as such I get an opportunity to offer in return.”

The Vallejo local said he generally realized he needed to lead a group, so when his seven-year NFL vocation finished in 2020, the previous Cal item returned to Berkeley as an off-the-field volunteer mentor.

As a major part in the NFL, he arrived at the zenith of his match dominating Super Bowl 50 as an individual from the Denver Broncos, yet this fall will bring another experience – his new kid on the block season as a lead trainer.

“I’ve been getting ready for this chance for seemingly forever now,” Anderson said. “Clearly there will be things in this instructing game that we will presently know, that is the reason we have an incredible staff around us with experienced mentors to help us out with that. With regards to nerves and things like that, nah I believe I’m really all set.”

Playing in the NFL allows the 30-year-old Anderson moment believability with his players. He went from Laney College to Cal, then, at that point went from being undrafted to being a Super Bowl champion.

Anderson realizes that it is so difficult to make it in the experts, which is the reason he said scholastics start things out in his program.

“We need to instruct character. We need to educate responsibility. We need to educate structure. We need to show fraternity,” Anderson said. “In any case, with that load of qualities accompanies winning.”

Monte Vista’s new field ought to be prepared for the group’s home opener in September, where Anderson as of now has exclusive standards.

“Certainly, large successes,” he said.

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