WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A local high school baseball coach is now taking on the role as the interim head football coach at a Washington County high school that has been under the spotlight for more than a week.
He is the second interim coach for the football team to be named in less than a week. In addition, the school’s basketball coach is now serving as the interim athletic director.
Athletic officials at David (Davy) Crockett High School revealed this morning the football team will continue to play despite, the fact that last week, two key members, the head football coach and the school’s athletic director, were put on administrative leave.
Nick Lingerfelt is a special education teacher at Davy Crockett who is currently serving as head coach for the school’s baseball team. But now, he has been promoted temporarily to a new role.
“I took a baseball job about three months ago and came here to be the baseball coach. Wow, things have changed since then, that is definitely for sure,” said Lingerfelt. “I am now the interim head football coach at Davy Crockett High School.”
On Friday night, Interim Head Coach Brandon Qualls was on the sidelines leading Crockett as the team faced Tennessee High at home.
Lingerfelt, who will be leading his first Musket Bowl this Friday, he told the media, “Everybody has been looking at all the problems that have been going on… instead of focusing on the problems we are going to focus on the solution. I just felt like as a person, it was my responsibility to step up and say, ‘Hey, if these kids want to play, I’ll be there. And if they decide to not to, I’ll support them in that too.’…It’s not about me. I support these kids.”
On questions about Gerald Sensabaugh investigation. Lingerfield directed us to a news release.
The following is the news release from the Washington County school district.
There have been several statements made regarding a “reinstatement” of Mr. Gerald Sensabaugh from his suspension as the Head Coach of David Crockett High School prior to the game against Tennessee High School this Friday, October 13, 2017.
Mr. Sensabaugh is currently on administrative leave while an investigation is being conducted as expeditiously as possible by an independent law firm to determine whether the allegations against and conduct of Mr. Sensabaugh warrant further action and whether allegations made by Mr. Sensabaugh against other Washington County employees are founded.
At the conclusion of this investigation, the firm will make recommendations to Director Kimber Halliburton and Principal Peggy Wright as to further action regarding these employees by the Director.
Pursuant to Washington County Board of Education Policy No. 5.2031, the Director may suspend a non-certified employee at any time deemed necessary. The policy does not permit the Board to reinstate a non-certified employee that is suspended by the Director.
The Policy, in accordance with T.C.A. § 39-2-301, provides that all non-certified employees are employed at the will of the Director and that the Director may dismiss any non-certified employee for any reason at any time.
The news conference comes about a week after former Crockett head football coach Gerald Sensabaugh was put on administrative leave, indefinitely. That same day, we learned that the school’s athletic director Josh Kite was also put on administrative leave.
So far, serious allegations have been made by both Sensabaugh and school leaders.
Since Sensabaugh has been put on leave, multiple rallies have been seen in support of his return. Last week, Sensabaugh told News Channel 11 he feels that he is really close to being reinstated.
We also saw a tweet this morning by the schools principal Peggy Wright, who said that Crockett Football is getting ready for the Musket Bowl this Friday night and she is “asking people to come out to support the team at the big game.