Coach Rob Powell replies to a misleading and slanderous article.
I, Coach Rob Powell, was unaware until recently that an article has been written about me in a small town paper. Credible newspapers contact the person they are writing about to defend themselves or get their side of the story. I wasn't given that opportunity. I was never contacted, so there is the evidence for their credibility. It was said a board member trying to cover his negligence ran the newspaper. Once I saw this article, and had THSCA legal look it over, they determined it was immoral, unethical, slanderous, and extremely misleading as to whom did what.
The article said I "resigned amidst accusations of wrongdoing". However, it never mentioned I was the one whom made the accusation of the wrongdoing by the school district. This was never mentioned in this article. Words were twisted to lead the reader to think that I was the one in the wrong. The article also said "the police were asked to investigate, and the police responded that there was nothing to investigate". Obviously, that was true, "nothing to investigate", but mentioning the police was another attempt to ruin my reputation, shift blame to me, and raise red flags for the reader.
Local, county and state police everywhere I coached knew me and my reputation. I spent many years training elite military and law enforcement officers in martial arts and hand to hand combat. Plus the local police had seen me, every day while on patrol swinging the hammer and running with the football players after practice in the heat, while the other coaches were kicked back under the air conditioner. They knew these kids had missed practices or misbehaved on or off campus in some manner. This is something the police saw as positive and had been missing from that school for some time. They knew I was holding these players responsible for their actions.
This all started during two a days. This school district had hired three new, all former female elementary principals as superintendent and two HS principals. Everyone was concerned about the discipline disappearing as it quickly did, in a big way. For the record, the BEST principal I ever had was a lady principal. She was honest, fair, intelligent, tough as nails and not a backstabbing coward. She was nothing like these administrators.
Be that as it may, one longtime coach at this school had enough of this new trio and resigned during two a days for reasons that are none of our business. Unfortunately, he mostly taught the same classes I did. The board decided to save money and not replace him. Once school started I found my classes had doubled in size. I added desk until there was no more room to add desk. We had plenty of desk due to the next door empty classroom, but no place to put them. So I had students sitting along the wall and two in my chair at my computer. I also had an additional class added to my schedule with students numbering near eighty in a class I wasn't certified to teach.
When I approached the administration about this situation they assured me that, "it was all alright, because the state of Texas said they can set my schedule and classes any way she wanted once I was under contract, regardless of any verbal agreements made to get me to come and teach and coach at their school".
I assured this administration that, was strictly between they and the state of Texas. I further assured them that if the situation was not handled appropriately in a timely manner, I would resign and let them and the state of Texas solve the problem she and the board had created for themselves. I also made it clear it was unfair to the kids and me to have such overcrowded classes and the current situation wasn't working for anyone. This situation was made worse because I wasn't issued books for the students and my computer was not set up to even take roll, or report grades. These later problems met with a new excuse and more promises every day, but no action was taken. I was taking roll and grades on notebook paper.
Another week passed with no progress made resolving these situations. I again approached administration and was once again told that. "The State of Texas says that we can do whatever we want with your schedule and class load once you are under contract, and our school lawyers back that up as well." I laughed at her for piss poor scare tactics and resigned. This school and I agreed it would be as if I was never there with no repercussions and no media. In return I agreed to their request to NOT report them to TEA.
However, there were influential members and groups in the community knowing of my credentials and my accomplishments as a coach, athlete and instructor, that demanded to know the reasons for my resignation. They contacted me wanting to confront the board and administration on my behalf. I refused to allow that. I told them once someone lies to me, then tries to take advantage of me, I'm not going back. As far as I was concerned it was a successful divorce and it was over and that's all I would say.
These community members angrily confronted this administration and board, which immediately reneged on our agreement. They created a story and published it to cover their wrongdoing. I wasn't there to defend myself, or remind them of our agreement, so they threw me under the bus with a misleading article in the local paper and assumed I would never see it since there was so many positive things written about me on the internet.
Once I saw this article I asked a THSCA lawyer and a school attorney about it and they both agreed it was unethical, immoral, cowardly, slanderous and extremely misleading as to whom did the "wrongdoing". The article was cleverly written to shift the blame to me and cover their negligence. And their plan worked, until now.
Lets look a little deeper. Does slandering me explain why the first coach resigned during two a days? I was the second coach to leave that semester and a third coach left only days after I left. By the end of the school year they said all but three coaches left. One of the three coaches was a local, and the other two were in charge of the athletic program and in their first year there. They did so badly in football that season they had nowhere else to go even though they admitted they also wanted to leave. This exodus has continued every year since this administrative change. At one point, the superintendent even threw her own principals under the bus to save her job.
Again, legal said, "if I could get a judge to hear the case I would have to get one of these people saying this to jump up on the witness stand and confess, and that was not going to happen". Legal also said, "professional jealousy is real, and you have done a lot to make your peers jealous".
Once I broke my first Guinness world record and the media started reporting on my breaking such records as what THEY call "world's greatest athlete" (being called that makes everyone not called that angry and jealous apparently). The media also reported that I had been training elite military and law enforcement for years. Which very few knew about up to that point.
The fact that I kept breaking world records annually after that for four years didn't help matters any. On school campuses I was called Superman, Superstar, Batman and Wolverine behind my back, by the insecure and cowardly. I was unable to hide these records from those of weak character who found my accomplishments intimidating. Even after I retired from competition and training these officers.
The investigation found that at coaching school after a day of playing golf, strip clubs and late night drunken poker games. A few of the coaches (we now have all their names), I have worked with in the past spread these stories and created their own stories out of spite because they were called "world's fattest man", while working with "the world's fittest man". Or "the world's softest man", coaching with the "world's toughest man". Some were upset simply because when we worked together the student athletes came to me for help and advice instead of them. I am not responsible for your personal appearance, you are. Nor am I responsible for your relationship with the kids. I am also not responsible for your jealousies and insecurities. But you are responsible for your slander, and the reactions that follow.
To let the attention die down, I returned to the ranch for a number of years and worked as a consultant and rancher. Legal said to defend myself with this statement. They agree a man of my character, accomplishments and credentials will win out with any administration and community of quality. They agree this is a clear case of slander and bullying by individuals and school districts. Writing something on the bathroom wall spreading lies and rumors about an award winning teacher and championship winning coach to coverup their own agendas and wrongdoing is illegal.
I will not apologize for breaking world records annually. Nor will I apologize for training elite military and law enforcement. They found me and asked me for my help. The life they save may be yours or our loved ones or our students. I can assure you many times that has been the case. If the insecure, weak and cowardly have a problem with that, then that is a them problem, not a me problem.
Bottom line, if you want a guy to coach your kids that will be the first one there and the last to leave, I'm your guy. If you want a guy that knows a lot about his subjects and sports that cares about your kids education, I'm your guy. If you want a guy that knows all the tricks to motivate your kids, teams and community, to create a winning program, I'm your guy. If you want a guy that will protect, care about, and set a good example for your kids, and young coaches, I'm your guy. If you want a guy that uses people, lies about them and kisses ass to get ahead as most do. Then I'm definitely not your guy.
I'm an older guy now, and retired from many things, but I still have the desire to work with young coaches and kids and share what I know about preparation, determination, hard work and winning. I've done a lot of winning. I have over 1,000 wins as an athlete and a coach and I know all the secrets of winning the right way. If I find the right fit, I will coach again, if not, I'll stay on the ranch and live happily ever after. However, I will not allow people of low character to attack me behind my back because of their own agendas, insecurities and pettiness. How can other people live with people that weak? More importantly, how can people like that live with themselves?