Walker coach placed on administrative leave
by Johnathan Bentley & Ron Harris
Sep 01, 2013 | 18435 views | 0 0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker head coach John Holladay was placed on administrative leave Saturday morning after his involvement in a fight with a Cullman coach following Friday’s game at KiRo-Gambrell Field. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jeff Johnsey
Walker head coach John Holladay was placed on administrative leave Saturday morning after his involvement in a fight with a Cullman coach following Friday’s game at KiRo-Gambrell Field. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jeff Johnsey
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Walker coach John Holladay has been placed on administrative leave by the school following an altercation on the field after the Walker-Cullman game Friday night, according to Jasper City Schools Athletic Director Jimmie Alexander.

“Coach Holladay is under administrative leave and has no involvement with the team,” Alexander said. “You hate to see any situation that causes a blight on the program. There are a lot of factors that need to be looked at. We will continue to investigate and go from there. I can tell you we will have a thorough investigation.

“[Jasper Police Chief] Connie Rowe has been cooperative and is following up on her end.”

Holladay was in the middle of a skirmish with Cullman defensive coordinator Matt Hopper following the Vikings’ emotional 13-10 loss at Gambrell Ki-Ro Field. After punches were thrown, Holladay was tackled to the ground by a Walker assistant coach while Hopper was restrained by several police officers.

The incident occurred as both teams rushed off the field Friday night. Cullman scored the game-winning touchdown with 18 seconds left on the clock. Instead of the customary handshakes following the game, coaches tried to get their teams to their respective lockerrooms before blows were exchanged by coaches on the field.

Rowe said Jasper police are trying to gather evidence to determine whether charges are warranted.

“Our duty at this point is to document the facts surrounding this incident,” she said Saturday afternoon. “We will be taking statements and reviewing video and photographs that may have captured the incident.”

“I truly believe two people were involved in the altercation,” Alexander said. “We had security there that we felt was capable of handling things, but this was totally unexpected.”

Friday’s game marked the start of Holladay’s seventh year as Walker’s head coach.

“We’re investigating it all and we’ll do a thorough job at that, but it will take us a while,” Jasper City Schools superintendent Robert Sparkman said Saturday. “We’ll take a look at all the facts about the matter, and when we feel like we understand it all, we’ll do whatever we need to do.”

When contacted Saturday, officials with the Alabama High School Athetic Association in Montgomery said an investigation into the incident is underway.

“We won’t comment on anything until the investigation into this is over,” said Ron Ingram, director of communications for the AHSAA.

A Cullman school board official told The Cullman Times that no discplinary action is planned concerning Cullman coaches or football players after Friday night’s post-game incident.

The Times reported that representatives of the AHSAA will meet with Cullman City Schools officials Tuesday as part of a review of the brawl, which left a Cullman coach with visible injuries.