FORMER PINE TREE COACH SPEAKS OUT ON RESIGNATION: 'I was crucified by the school'

FORMER PINE TREE COACH SPEAKS OUT ON RESIGNATION: 'I was crucified by the school'
Longview News-Journal
The School Yard

POSTED: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 3:14pm

UPDATED: Saturday, October 26, 2013 - 1:32am

“I had an impeccable 22-year career that ended in these three months of destruction."

According to the Longview News-Journal, former Pine Tree ISD Athletic Director Derek Fitzhenry admits he’s made mistakes, but says he’s been lied to, lied about and “crucified” for events that were misconstrued.

After weeks of silence, Fitzhenry sat down this week to speak publicly for the first time about events that led to his resignation October 18, from Pine Tree ISD, where he spent the past two and a half years as athletic director and head football coach.

“My intent in doing this is to tell the truth. It is not vengeful. I just want to get the facts out there. They tried to crucify me for this whole felony deal but when you look at all of the facts, my heart was in the right place,” he said. “I am a Christian man and I was trying to do what was best and what was fair.”

Fitzhenry blamed an atmosphere of secrecy created by the district, with officials failing to confirm fact or deny fiction, for the three-month saga that led to his departure. And he said what district officials told him in private failed to match what they later said in public.

His resignation ended a 22-year career in which Fitzhenry worked his way steadily up the chain. He started coaching at junior high, made his way up to JV, then to varsity, first as offensive coordinator, then assistant coach and head coach of a 3A district, and eventually head coach of Pine Tree ISD, a 4A school district.

“I had an impeccable 22-year career that ended in these three months of destruction,” he said.

Read more from the Longview News-Journal.

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