Incident forces JV coach’s dismissal
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
A heated confrontation with a student has resulted in the firing of a Caroline High School junior varsity football coach.
Caroline County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Eric Cunningham said first-year head coach Nathaniel Mewborn’s behavior was “unprofessional” in the recent incident.
Mewborn will remain a math teacher at the school.
“The incident was a question of how to manage kids,” Cunningham said. “We never want those types of differences to exist. We would like to manage kids in a fair and consistent way.”
The incident occurred outside an activity bus at the end of practice and began when the student refused to wear a shirt.
Cunningham said the student isn’t an active player, but was with the team because “we always look for mentoring opportunities to get players back on the field.”
Cunningham said Principal Harper Donohoe conducted an investigation and did not have evidence the confrontation became physical.
Donohoe didn’t return calls seeking comment.
Mewborn said “not to my knowledge” when asked by a reporter if the incident was physical, but refused to answer additional questions.
Caroline athletic director Jeremy Jack declined to comment on if there was a physical dispute because it’s a personnel issue.
Jack said varsity assistant coach Steve Swanton has taken over Mewborn’s duties. The Cavaliers were forced to cancel a scrimmage with Patrick Henry-Ashland last week as Swanton scrambled to prepare.
Jack said it hasn’t been determined if Mewborn can return to coach another sport or rejoin the football team next season.
Cunningham said Donohoe concluded Mewborn could remain a math teacher.
“Dr. Donohoe was on top of this immediately,” Cunningham said. “Based on the result of that investigation we didn’t find enough to warrant anything other than [Mewborn's firing as coach].”
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526