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Dimond Football Head Coach Bernardo Otero out; Derek Brewer returns to lead Lynx football

(KTUU)
Published: Aug. 31, 2018 at 4:20 PM AKDT
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The maelstrom that has engulfed the Dimond High School football team since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year may be lessening. Friday afternoon, Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop made major announcements in the wake of what has thus far been a two-week investigation into

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"The known students involved in this incident have received disciplinary action," Bishop said in an interview Friday. "In addition, the head coach as well as two assistants have been released from their duties as coaches."

She would not disclose the nature of the incident or the number of students involved.

In a prepared news release published late Friday, the school district said its "investigation following reports of misconduct during a Dimond High School football team trip to Lathrop High School in Fairbanks, Alaska, August 16-17 revealed that inappropriate conduct occurred."

Students have been disciplined. New head coach Bernardo Otero is out, along with two assistant coaches. Taking the helm is a familiar face: Derek Brewer, a psychology teacher at Dimond who coached the team from 2004-2007.

The Lynx resume sanctioned practices Friday evening, with extra oversight and an eye on games next week.

"Education is a right. Our co-curriculars and activities are a privilege for our students and staff to participate in," Bishop said. "The whole reason why we have activities is not to get a win. It's actually really to build the character of young men and women for our societies," she said.

Additionally, all Dimond High School coaches will undergo mandatory sexual harassment and hazing training, and a separate "Coaching Greatness" training, scheduled for early September.

In a sit-down interview with Channel 2 on Friday, Bishop would not go into detail about what drove the decision to change coaches.

"We don't comment on employee discipline or decisions," Bishop said. "I am not going to speak specifically, but in the best interest of the team and moving forward, the coaches were relieved."

Coach Brewer has deep ties to Dimond, not only because he's taught and coached there, but it is also where his children went to school.

Otero has declined interview requests throughout the last two weeks, but did send out an email to parents shortly after the allegations surfaced that the coaches did everything they could to keep the players safe, maintaining presence and pulling all-nighters to stay awake while the team spent the night in the gymnasium of Lathrop High School in Fairbanks.

Bishop

, and then

into the allegations. On Friday, she told Channel 2 that a preliminary school investigation has been completed, but will remain confidential. Meanwhile, the school investigation continues, as does one by the Anchorage Police Department.

Without stating how, Bishop said that the students involved had been disciplined and she felt confident that the school and athletic environments are safe. Schools do have the discretion to implement emergency out-of-school suspensions if the behavior violations are serious enough. Bishop would not say whether the district or Dimond had used that discretion as a consequence or precaution in the current investigation.

It's not just Dimond coaches that will receive mandatory trailing. All coaches district-wide will go through it, according to the prepared statement released Friday by the district.

The announcements came just as football players and their families began arriving at Dimond High School for a meeting with the principal and superintendent to go over the findings, the coaching changes, player safety and how the program will move forward.

A former East High basketball phenom, Louis Wilson, is participating in the meeting to speak with the players about teamwork, caring for one another, professional conduct, and dealing with criticism.

Earlier Friday, Wilson, who coaches now in Arizona, took his message of resilience twitter:

The Lynx C-team will play its first game since suspension on Wed. Sept. 5. Varsity and JV will take the field Sat. Sept. 8.