Community heated after football coach is fired

By Cory Stark – bio |email |twitter | Facebook

TRENTON, OH (FOX19) - Steve Channell was head football coach at Edgewood High School for 21 years, but was suddenly fired this month.

"For him to be tossed aside like trash without justification shows our kids that hard work and dedication means nothing," said Mark Pelfrey, Edgewood High School parent.

In more than two decades of coaching, Channell led the Edgewood Cougars to 152 wins, 10 playoff appearances and one state title game.

"He was a great coach," said Ryan Chambers, Edgewood football player. "He had a great winning program and tradition. That is what he preached."

"If the community is so much upset about this, then why are they doing this? We just want answers," said Jake Browning, Edgewood football player.

More than one hundred people showed up to get answers but school board president Jim Wirtley announced at the meeting, "If you have questions regarding the reason, or have questions you will need to speak directly to Mr. Channell."

Coach Channell did not return phone calls from FOX19. Community members have their own beliefs why the coach was fired.

"We've heard reports that coach Channell didn't support the last levy to their satisfaction," said Pelfrey.

The district's director of athletics and communication, John Thomas, released this statement:

"The leadership of the district decided a change was needed. In regards to football, we appreciate Steve's years of service in heading up our football program."

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