A Utah high school fired a coach for allegedly threatening a student, according to parent voicemail messages.

A Utah high school fired a coach for allegedly threatening a student, according to parent voicemail messages.

Donald Eck, former phys-ed teacher and football coach at Clearfield High School in Utah.  Donald Eck, former phys-ed teacher and football coach at Clearfield High School in Utah. (https://chs.davis.k12.ut.us/faculty-staff In Eck’s voicemail, obtained by the outlet, the coach talked about needing to “put a stop” to the student’s mother “talking (expletive) about the coaches.” “What they let you do, quitting on your teammates, is the most selfish thing I’ve seen in all my years of athletics, and I’ve been around a lot of players,” Eck allegedly said.

A teacher was sacked from a Utah high school after leaving a threatening voicemail on a student’s phone. A voicemail was supposedly left for a player who had departed the Clearfield High School football team by Donald “Don” Eck, a physical education instructor who also coaches the team. “After allegations surfaced regarding his behaviour,” the Davis School District placed Eck on administrative leave on Oct. 25. On November 22, Fox 13 Now reported that the district fired him outright.

“But by them letting you (expletive) quit on your teammates and go into this game shorthanded like we did is the most despicable thing I’ve ever seen in all my years of coaching, and I want to let both your parents know that and I want to tell them face to face, so call me back so I can set up a meeting with your parents,” the voice mail continued. “Thanks, bye.”

Eck told the Salt Lake Tribune he had “made a mistake” out of anger. A district investigation concluded “disciplinary action was needed.” “The district does not condone such behavior from any of its employees,” a statement to ABC 4 read. Chris Tremea, parent liaison for the football team, said Eck “was devastated by his actions.” “He truly was aware he had made a mistake,” Tremea told Fox 13 Now. “It’s hard for that position in that game and Don was very frustrated and I guess that’s what kind of lead up to the phone call.”

I had a coach stop me in the hall and do essentially the same thing, except that I had simply chosen not to go out for the team my senior year (although I had participated as a junior). I took the tongue-lashing and then went to class. Nothing more came of it, but that was 1972. I remember as a mathlete back in the 60’s when I forgot to invert the chi-exponential in a state meet quadratic equation semi-final. The coach not only took away my slide rule, but also my protractor.

My teenage daughter is currently in high school athletics. The time, money, and demands are completely unrealistic at times. Good luck getting any empathy from the coaches. Somewhere there is a healthy balance….this coach took his job way, way too seriously. My father was a brilliant man, a nuclear physicist. He made the bombs that made the whole world sting.
He told me that I did not have to “fit in” with anybody, that I should think and act for myself, make my own decisions, and choose the people I associate with wisely.

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