Middletown football coach resigns over 'death threats, parental bullying'

Middletown football coach resigns over 'death threats, parental bullying'
(FOX19 Now file)

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - The head football coach at Middletown High School says he received death threats and verbal abuse from players' parents.

In his resignation letter sent last week, T. Lance Engleka offered a scathing criticism of the culture surrounding high school football.

"Winning and losing at the high school level should not be a life-threatening situation," Engleka wrote. He's been the head coach for the past two years and remains the dean the of students.

The former coach claims to be the target of "online death threats, threats of physical violence, personal and deceitful attacks from parents and community members." The situation has deteriorated into an "unsafe environment," he said.

The letter calls out a "misguided community perspective on the irrational importance of winning high school football games, unrealistic expectations from parents related to their son's abilities and future prospects."

Engleka said parents bullied coaches and believed it was an "acceptable method of communication."

Middletown Superintendent Marlon Styles said he's confident that the athletic department investigated any safety concerns. He was not aware of any police report or filing connected with Engleka's allegations.

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