DANVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Two weeks have passed since the superintendent of Danville Independent Schools informed the high school’s football coach, Clay Clevenger, that his contract would not be renewed, but the frustration from the Admirals’ faithful continues to grow stronger.
"We're standing up and we're saying this is wrong,” Jennings McClure said, standing outside the district’s central office, where about 20 people rallied Monday in support of Clevenger.
The socially distanced rally featured signs that read “We Support Coach Clevenger” and “Coach Clevenger is the Right Direction,” alluding to a conversation in which McDonald, the superintendent, told Clevenger the district wanted to go in a “different direction,” according to the coach.
"We haven't been reached out to by anyone in the school system,” Blake Shelton, a rising senior on the team, said. “It would be nice to know what direction they want the football program to go in since they left our coach.”
LEX 18’s attempts to reach district officials have so far been unsuccessful. Parents and players say they have not had much luck, either.
"It's a very hard thing to swallow because we're not really hearing something that he did that would warrant this,” said McClure, whose son was excited to play under Clevenger as a freshman next year.
Clevenger served as head coach of the team for eight years and helped the Admirals capture a state title in 2017.
Parents, like McClure, credit Clevenger for the positive lessons he has imparted on his players. Now, they are asking the superintendent to reinstate him as coach.
Clevenger told LEX 18’s Keith Farmer last week that he is not sure he would return if asked.
“When you kind of get blindsided and you see peoples' true intentions that you would try and work for, it would make it awful tough,” he said.