PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Students and parents at Arcadia High School are demanding their head football coach be reinstated. Last Friday, Kerry Taylor was fired after allegations of recruiting violations.
At a community meeting in the AHS gym Wednesday night, it was very obvious players, and parents love Coach Taylor. In his one year as head coach at Arcadia, the former Sun Devil and Cardinal lifted the team from a 0-10 record to a 6-4 campaign.
While we didn’t see Taylor at the meeting, plenty of people spoke out on his behalf.
“Kerry Taylor is our father. The man is our leader," one of his players said.
"It’s like a loss of a family member, ya know?" sophomore football player James Phillips said. "And I really wish we could get him back.”
Principal Todd Stevens read a statement and said he couldn’t go into details of a personnel matter. But we know from a statement Taylor made on Twitter last week that there were allegations of recruiting, which is an AIA violation.
“We got like 22, 28 guys, and you talk about recruiting?" one player pointed out. "I see no recruiting here," he said over laughter from the crowd.
Scottsdale Unified School District says Taylor’s job is already posted online, and without a football staff, the remaining summer football activities that were planned at Arcadia are canceled.
“You wanted community consensus, but then the next remarks were ‘We’ve posted the job,'" one man from the crowd said. "That to me says, ‘We have no concern whatsoever for what you have to say tonight.'"
"There is no football season right now," a parent who took the mic said. "Right now, without these assistants, without Coach Taylor, there is no Arcadia football. We will be on the front page of every paper.”
Game one of Arcadia's football season is eight weeks away.
Stevens mentioned he has been talking with the assistant coaches about having them stay on. But when one of the assistant coaches took the mic, the principal admitted he didn’t know his name.
Stevens acknowledged this is bad timing for letting a coach go during summer workouts, but said the timing wasn’t his fault.
Parents were pretty fired up.
“This is awful," one father said. "This is not what we came to hear. We came to hear, ‘We’re gonna file an injunction. We’re gonna put our coach back so these kids can play some football!'"
Other alleged AIA violations surround Taylor’s voluntary practices in the summer. Parents at the meeting said Arcadia is already behind other schools because the players don’t have an actual football class during the school day. Thus, everything they do is outside of school time.
“He doesn’t ask for much. He just tells you to be the best person you can be, put in the work and you’ll get good results," sophomore Nick Wise said.