Trinity coach fired after winning title

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal Day School confirmed Monday that head football coach Josh Loy was terminated.

The school’s press release did not include a reason for the termination.

Loy, in a separate statement, indicated the decision was related to allegations by parents and students of a hazing incident at the school two weeks ago. Loy was reportedly supposed to be supervising the players when the incident allegedly occurred.

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Read the complete Trinity Episcopal Day School statement here.

Read Josh Loy’s complete statement here.

“Unfortunately, for reasons I do not agree with and emphatically deny, the administration has made a decision to relieve me of my duties as an employee of Trinity School,” Loy said in the statement.

“I have never condoned hazing and certainly was not aware of any hazing incidents until it was brought to my attention by the administration immediately prior to my termination supposedly related to the incident.”

The statement released by the school stated, “All of the facts leading up to this decision have been thoroughly considered, and our support for the decision is unanimous.

“Trinity’s focus is the safety of our children, a superior education for our students, and a stable environment for all of this to be accomplished,” the statement reads.

Efforts to reach Loy to discuss the matter further were unsuccessful Monday.

Three senior players were suspended for the Saints’ MAIS Class A state semi-finals game against Cenla Christian Academy Nov. 15, but they were eligible to play in Saturday’s state title game, in which at least two of the three played.

Trinity Headmaster Les Hegwood declined to discuss why Loy continued to coach after the alleged incident occurred and why the players were eligible to play in Saturday’s title game.

“The (school) board and I, due to its sensitive nature, have no further comment on the topic,” Hegwood said.

MAIS Executive Director Shane Blanton said he was unaware of the allegations of a hazing incident but said no MAIS regulations would have called for Loy’s immediate termination based on the allegations.

“The board of trustees that run each (member) institution governs their personnel policy,” Blanton said.

Judge Leo Boothe, father of Trinity junior player Wyatt Boothe, said he couldn’t agree or disagree with the decision to terminate Loy.

“I really don’t know all the ins and outs,” Boothe said. “I think the administration has to do what they think is best, and I don’t have the information to disagree with them. I don’t know a whole lot about what is going on.”

Boothe also said his son was upset when he found out Loy was being let go, implying the players knew of the decision before it became public knowledge.

“The day he got the news, I told him to focus on winning games and don’t let this distract you from your performance,” Boothe said.

Senior quarterback Michael Whitley said he thought Loy being fired would hurt the program.

“He’s a really great coach and a good man, too,” Whitley said. “They lost a good man.”

Whitley said no one elaborated with him on the reasons for Loy’s termination.

“I don’t know what happened, and I don’t really want to know what happened,” Whitley said. “I just know they let him go.”

Trinity junior Tommy McCoy said the decision to fire Loy will likely mean he only plays basketball his senior season.

“I didn’t think he should be let go,” McCoy said. “They didn’t give us the information (why he was fired), and he brought so much to this school. I think they just kept (the decision) to grown-people business. They didn’t tell any of the students.”

McCoy also said Loy would do anything to help his players.

“He was just a good guy all around,” McCoy said. “If we needed tutoring he helped us with tutoring. If we were weak in a subject, he’d help us with that.”

Boothe also said he was impressed with the job Loy did in leading the Saints to a 13-0 record and a state title.

“The facts I do know is that Coach Loy did a great job,” Boothe said. “That’s apparent — it’s self-evident. You can have a lot of great ingredients and not be able to put them together, and he knew how to mix those assets.”

In two seasons at Trinity, Loy compiled a 21-5 record. He said in his statement he was proud of the young men on the team and was honored to be a part of the state championship.