Monday, March 23, 2009

Coach Gregory Ryan Brewer Resigns

Central High School sits in the western end of Lauderdale County. The 4-A institution is rich in history and justly proud of its athletes, known as the Wild Cats. When Steve Mayfield took over as head coach in 2006, he had hopes of restoring Central's football team to its former glory. Yet after two years at the helm, Mayfield was fighting lymphoma and reflecting on a 1-19 record. On May 7, 2008, Coach Steve Mayfield officially resigned from his position stating that it was time for someone else to take the helm.

Few doubted that the someone would be Assistant Coach Gregory Ryan Brewer. Brewer (pictured at right) was 31 years old and had been employed at Central High School for nine years. A member of the Northwest Alabama Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Brewer taught 7th grade math as well as coaching both football and basketball. A one-time TimesDaily baseball coach of the year, Brewer was married to the former Andrea Jill Hagood, a counselor at Central. The Lauderdale County Board of Education appointed Brewer interim coach, a strong indication that the permanent position would go to the assistant coach when announced on the afternoon of May 27, 2008.

On the morning of May 27th, rumors began to circulate around the school. Greg Brewer was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 12 year-old female student. Instead of an offer to become Central High School's head football coach, Brewer received orders to take an administrative leave. In early June, the Board appointed Zachary Cooper to replace Brewer during his absence.

Both the school system and the state Department of Human Resorces investigated the accusations that Brewer engaged in text messaging with the pre-teen, as well as indulging in embraces and kisses. After an investigation of several weeks, the Board and DHR turned over their findings to the Lauderdale County District Attorney's office. Since the Lauderdale office employed a relative of Brewer, Chris Connolly immediately turned the case over to the Colbert County District Attorney to prosecute.

William Hovater represented Brewer in his appearance before family court judge Jimmy Sandlin. On Friday, March 20, 2009, Sandlin dropped the charges against Brewer on the condition that he resign from his position at Central High School. Brewer also still retains his teaching license. At this point, the citizens of Lauderdale County have paid the former coach his full salary while on an administrative leave totalling nine months and three weeks.

Now Gregory Ryan Brewer is free to take his teaching certificate and apply for work elsewhere within the State of Alabama. We will be watching.

What's up with this: Rumors are already circulating that Brewer also voluntarily gave up his teaching certificate. Wise man?