Hunter Jenks, head football coach at Clayton High School announced Tuesday afternoon he was stepping down.
In a prepared statement Coach Jenks said, “Effective immediately, I am stepping down as the head football coach and teacher at Clayton High School. I recognize the timing of this decision will be difficult for those involved. However, my family and I have endured a lot this year and as I step back and reflect, I need to make decisions based on what is best for them. As a result, I have accepted a job opportunity that is closer to my home and will be better for my family.”
“I would like to thank Dr. Bennett Jones, who has been a phenomenal leader and mentor. Every decision made at Clayton High School has been in the best interest of students, regardless of race or socio-economic standing, as directed through the JOCO 2020 initiative.”
“I appreciate that Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow, took the time to meet with me at Clayton High School on Tuesday, August 13th, to reassure me and the members of the 2019 Clayton football program that there was no evidence of academic fraud, player ineligibility or recruiting found as a result of the 10 week investigation this summer. However, I have decided that pursuing this opportunity outside of the district is the right thing at this time.”
“It has been my honor to work with the players and families of Clayton High School who have welcomed my family and me in as their own. Over the past three seasons, we have accomplished a lot both on and off the field, and no one will ever be able to take that away. The Clayton community should be proud of the young men developing through this program. Clayton is a special town and to be the football coach at Clayton High School is a forever type of job; it has become impossible to be my forever job,” Coach Jenks said in a public statement.
“I will always be grateful for the time I have spent at CHS and sincerely thank the administration, coaches, parents, community, and boosters for all of their support. Most especially though, I want to again thank the young men that have done everything that we have asked as part of this program. I love and appreciate them all and wish them much success and happiness in their future endeavors. I am proud of them and will support them as their coach and biggest champion.”
Jenks concluded by saying, “As the program moves forward, it is important for the community to get behind this excellent group of young men. Mr. Chase Ferrell has led a high school before, and will act in a quick and appropriate manner to name an interim head coach, please support him during the transition.
Clayton High School has been under investigation since June 2019 following whistleblower allegations of academic fraud and grade fixing. Last week, Principal Bennett Jones was suddenly transferred to a position at Central Office. School officials have not commented on the status of the investigation.