Tennessee high school football coach resigns amid vandalism scandal

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Ex-high school assistant coach Michael Schmitt was charged with vandalizing a fieldhouse. (AP Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press, Robin Rudd)

Assistant football coach Michael Schmitt was charged with vandalism. (AP Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press, Robin Rudd)

The head coach of a Tennessee high school football team and three of his assistants resigned after two were accused vandalizing their own fieldhouse and a third coach was accused of breaking into a rival school to steal the opponent's playbook, according to Lucas Johnson and Adrian Sainz of the Associated Press.

Marion County High School head coach Mac McCurry resigned during a meeting with the county superintendent and the school principal. McCurry also resigned from his job as a physical education teacher.

"Mr. McCurry felt it was in his best interest to separate himself from the situation, and he resigned," said Marion County Schools superintendent Mark Griffith, who added that McCurry might have faced firing if he had not resigned.

"This is truly a shocking and tragic event ... very troubling," Griffith said.

On Nov. 1, before the school's District 2-A championship game against South Pittsburg, Marion County officials discovered that the fieldhouse had been defaced. Officials said vulgarities were painted on side doors and the backside of the fieldhouse in South Pittsburg's colors, orange and black.

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The vandalism was apparently an ill-conceived attempt to fire up the team for the game.

Instead, assistant coach Michael Schmitt was arrested on a charge of vandalism of $1,000 to $10,000, and assistant Joe D. Gudger was arrested Tuesday on the same charge and also charged with unlawful possession of alcohol on school grounds.