Posted: 11:06 am Thursday, December 12th, 2013
By Anthony Chiang
After Palm Beach Central fired head football coach Rod Harris on Monday, Harris decided to stay fairly quiet.
But on Thursday morning, Harris sent a statement, which was first obtained by The Palm Beach Post, regarding his recent firing. Harris, who coached the Broncos for six seasons, said he was given 48 hours to either resign or be fired on Monday. But before he could pick an option, he learned through the media that he had been fired.
“I asked and was granted 48 hours to make my decision,” Harris said in the statement. “I thought I earned that after all the countless hours, hard work, dedication, and loyalty to Palm Beach Central. Unfortunately, this choice was taken away from me based on quotes by athletic director Ron Matella to the media that I was fired.”
Palm Beach Central principal Butch Mondy told the Palm Beach Post that Harris’ assistant coaches had not been released, and the new head football coach would have the option to retain them. But Harris said he was “told all coaches were released of their jobs as coaches, effective immediately.” Harris added that some of those who worked in the football team’s booster club had also been released from their duties.
“Reasons given for my dismissal were not only inaccurate but very trivial in nature,” Harris said in the statement. “All issues were corrected as they came to light during this past season. Before people jump to conclusions let me assure everybody there are no skeletons with the football program. There are no pending investigations, no legal ramifications, and no potential issues on the horizon.”
Palm Beach Central athletic director Ron Matella and Mondy did not immediately return phone calls.
For now, Harris said he will take the opportunity to spend more time with his family, focus on his role as an algebra teacher and improving his health.
“I would have relished the opportunity to hear principal Mondy or athletic director Ron Matella’s views on how to build a winning program that pleased all parties involved,” Harris said in the statement. “No such meeting ever took place with me at Palm Beach Central in the last three years.”
About the Author
Anthony Chiang began his writing career in Gainesville at the University of Florida’s student-run newspaper. At The Independent Florida Alligator, he covered the school’s golf, volleyball, baseball, and football teams. The Miami native has also written for the Sun Sentinel and MLB.com, following the Tampa Bay Rays.