JONESBOROUGH, Tenn (WJHL) – The David Crockett High School athletic director and head football coach found themselves on administrative leave Tuesday.
Gerald Sensabaugh, who is in his first season as head coach at the school, told WJHL on Tuesday morning about the decision to place him on leave after there were safety concerns raised by the school’s principal. According to Washington County Director of Schools Kimber Halliburton, Sensabaugh practiced a student who was being treated by a doctor and on a list prohibiting him from playing or practicing.
“The coach actually approached the trainer and the student in an aggressive manner in regards to that being reported, and so they felt threatened and harassed by the coach in regards to this being disclosed,” Halliburton said.
Athletic director Josh Kite was also placed on administrative leave after accusations were made against him by Sensabaugh.
Halliburton also said a long-time assistant coach quit over the weekend, citing Sensabaugh’s behavior as this reason.
Sensabaugh said his team was scheduled to practice Monday morning, until he received a call from the school principal.
“She instructed me not to have practice,” Sensabaugh said. “I said, ‘Well then I’ll just try to find another facility to go to,’ and she said, ‘No, I’m instructing no practice.’”
The coach has been vocal on social media, posting about what he considers to be a variety of problems at the school system, including classroom layout and claims of drugs at the school.
“They probably are trying to stage up situations to find ways to fire me,” Sensabaugh said. “But, like I told the kids, if you guys don’t want me here, I will be glad to leave. But if you guys want me here, I am going to fight for you guys until the end.”
“I want to do my best to make a change. I love being at Crockett. I would love to be at Crockett for the rest of the time I’m coaching football. That’s my goal,” he added.
Parents and supporters of Sensabaugh have organized a rally scheduled for Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. at the Washington County Board of Education central office in Jonesborough. On Tuesday morning, a group of David Crockett players said they would not play Friday against Tennessee High School if Sensabaugh isn’t on the sidelines.
Sensaubaugh attended Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, before going on to play football at East Tennessee State University and the University of North Carolina. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft by Jacksonville, before finishing his career with the Dallas Cowboys.