Male Basketball Coach Fired After School Claims Women Should Coach Girls

Getty Images/Jason O'Brien

Van Buren County High School in Tennessee fired Tyler Sapp, its girl’s basketball coach, saying that a woman should lead a girl’s basketball team.

Coach Tyler Sapp was fired one week before the start of the 2021-22 season this year, despite five years of loyal service, including being honored as the District 5-A coach of the year after the team went 24-3 last season.

The 30-year-old Eaglettes head coach told the media that he had no hint that he was about to be so suddenly let go

“I had no idea,” Sapp said according to WC Sports Authority. “As a coach, you can always have a feeling in the back of your head that you could be replaced, but you never think it a week before the season starts.”

Sapp added that he was abruptly called to the administrator’s office and told that parents have complained about having a male coach for the girl’s team. He was then told by the district’s County Director Cheryl Cole, Assistant Principal Drew Campbell, and Principal Katina Simmons that he was being fired.

“They talked about how people had called the school board and that the girls felt uncomfortable with a male coach and the community wanted a woman in that position. It hadn’t been a problem for five years,” Sapp reported.

“When they said they think a woman should be in that position, I told them that it was sexist and it was wrong,” Sapp added.

The district seemed oddly unprepared to follow up on Sapp’s firing, though, as no replacement had been hired for a new season that is supposed to start only a week away on Nov. 18.

The coach, who is also an economics teacher and PE instructor for the district, has no history of complaints, or legal actions, and doesn’t even have any history of being disciplined.

But losing his position as a basketball coach was a blow. “This is the whole reason I went into teaching. I want to coach,” he said.

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