Former Swansea Coach Gregory Wright asks Board for reinstatement
By Thomas Grant Jr.
Gregory Wright made his case for reinstatement as Swansea High School head football coach and athletics director to the Lexington County School District 4 board Thursday night.
In attendance were over 30 citizens from the Swansea community, including players who want to see Wright back on the sidelines.
“I support Coach Wright because he’s a good mentor for us,” said one player. “He’s really teaching us a lot of good things, not just on and off the field. He’s not only a great coach, but a great mentor.”
“Coach Wright’s an awesome man, an awesome coach and we need him back,” said a second player.
After nearly two hours in executive session after meeting approximately 15 minutes with Wright behind closed doors, the board issued a 67 second statement indicating it took no action on the personnel matter.
“Because the board has delegated decisions regarding coaching positions to the administration in accordance with work policy, the board has no official role in this matter and will not take further action at this time,” Board member Doris Simmons said. “However, the board agreed to meet with Coach Wright to hear any concerns he might have relating to the process and the administration’s decision.”
Simmons added in holding the closed door hearing with Wright, the board takes “personnel concerns seriously and strives to insure that all employee decisions made by the administration and board act to serve the best interest of our students”. She closed by saying the board would have no further statements “at this time” before adjourning.
Wright, who was fired as head coach on June 28 following a reported incident at a practice three days earlier and was demoted from his AD position a month earlier, shook hands with all eight board members before leaving the building with legal advisor J. Paul Porter of Cromer, Babb Porter and Hicks, LLC of Columbia. He then issued a brief statement to the media.
“I appreciate the board hearing me here tonight,” he said. “I appreciate all the support from my community. I’ll continue to fight for our community and kids. They’re always going to me my number one priority, without a doubt. But it’s God’s plan, not man. I ask the Lord to use me and I have to allow him to do that and I trust him wholeheartedly.”
Porter later confirmed at noon press conference Friday at his firm’s office at 1418 Laurel St. Lead attorney J. Lewis Cromer, who has indicated a lawsuit was imminent if Wright was not rehired as head football coach and AD, will disclose his next action.