I don't like
gutless people. I don't like people who hide behind anonymity, privacy
laws, and fake names on internet message boards. I am tired of
irresponsible rumor spreading and hurtful accusations made by faceless
people who refuse to be a man and stand up in the spotlight and make
their claims for everyone to see and hear.
Chip Williams was the New Bern High School football coach for 15 years.
He built a highly successful program that won three Eastern Regional
Championships in four years. Chip not only ran a winning program, but
from my perspective, he also ran a good program. He helped kids better
themselves. Many received athletic scholarships to colleges, and many
more learned the importance of academics and ultimately and went on to
higher education and successful careers in many occupations. It even
extended to his own family; both his sons went to ECU, and Bubba was
even the long snapper for the Pirates in 2001. Some kids slipped
through the cracks, but it wasn't because of lack of effort by Williams
and his staff.
But Chip is no longer employed by New Bern High School. Williams was
eligible for retirement this past year and he filed the necessary paper
work to get the benefits from the state. His job as athletics director
and football coach were opened up. Chip then reapplied for his jobs
which is legal under state law (he had to stay inactive at the school
for six months, but would have returned in time for the start of the
school year, a practice done by many coaches around the state). The
NBHS principal recommended Williams to the school board, but no action
was taken. The board refused to accept the recommendation and asked
Williams to withdraw his name from consideration. But no one will say
The school board hides behind the employee privacy laws. Vague rumors
are rampant about improper conduct by Williams and why he was not hired
back, but no one will go on the record. Anonymous letters were sent to
the board with several of those allegations. No name attached, yet
these letters were have said to have a big impact on the boards'
inactivity in re-hiring Chip. Names of residents who are apparently
opposed to Williams' return refuse to talk to the media or go on the
record. There are rumors every where, but no one with enough guts to
stand up and say why Chip should not return.
If Williams did something wrong, and it can be proved, I have no
problem with him not returning. But I don't even know what the
accusations are outside of the whispers you here, and most of those who
spread such gossip don't give any concrete facts, just opinions.
Chip fought the system for a while and has more people in the community
in his corner than not. But it was apparent he was not going to get any
answers, and the board would never act on his recommendation, so he
finally withdrew his name so the program he spent 15 years building
could move on. Currently the school is way behind in fund raising, and
the football team is in limbo and behind on summer workouts. The search
for a new coach and athletics director has begun and someone should be
named soon, but the damage has been done.
I feel the worst for the kids that Williams was helping mold. They
never had a choice, and you hope they don't get lost in the shuffle. I
am not talking about the kids with great parents, but the young men in
desperate need of father figures and discipline.
If anyone who reads this is man enough to go on the record and give me
some answers, I would love to hear from you. But don't call me with
anonymous rumors, or post hearsay in a chat room. Be accountable. It's
one of those traits we seem to be losing in our country, and I hate it.