Altoona athletic director apologizes for firing football coach - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Altoona athletic director apologizes for firing football coach

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Athletic Director James Oliver, News 18 Archive Footage: May 2013 Athletic Director James Oliver, News 18 Archive Footage: May 2013
Altoona Football Coach Steve English Altoona Football Coach Steve English

Altoona (WQOW) -- Altoona is moving forward from a tumultuous start to their football season after the school's athletic director apologized for firing the head football coach. 

On Friday, Altoona Athletic Director and Dean of Students James Oliver apologized for firing Coach Steve English. In a letter, he said:

"I had no authority to fire the football coach, I acted on my own. I am sorry for the upheaval caused by this decision."

Oliver went on to say that, in the best interest of the team, he has decided to remove himself as the football athletic director for the rest of the season. 

News 18 spoke with Altoona Superintendent Connie Beidron over the phone on Friday, who said Oliver will continue serving as the athletic director for all other sports and that the school will reevaluate his involvement with the football team next season. She said Oliver was placed on leave for a week because of the firing, but that Coach English was quickly reinstated because, again, the athletic director acted outside of his authority. 

Parents with students on the Altoona football team told News 18 the team's assistant coach is Oliver's son. Some think the athletic director fired Coach English to clear the way for his son to be head coach, though Superintendent Beidron couldn't confirm that information. 

She said now she's hoping the team can put this situation behind them and focus on a successful remainder of the season. 

Some of the players' parents also told News 18 that their kids were so upset about the initial decision to fire Coach English, many of them returned their jerseys and pads and called it quits on the season. Though with English back in charge, the team appeared to be back to their full roster Thursday night against Eau Claire Regis. 

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