TCSS: LCMS coach can resume coaching on January 1

Published 3:33 pm Friday, October 28, 2022

The Troup County School System announced in a press release Friday that Long Cane Middle School coach Dustin Ward can resume his coaching duties on Jan. 1, 2023.

“After further review concerning Dustin Ward, football coach at Long Cane Middle School, Superintendent Brian Shumate has decided to uphold the decision to relieve Ward of his coaching duties until January 1, 2023. After that time, he can resume all normal coaching duties,” the press release said.

TCSS said it would have no further comment on the story.

The LaGrange Daily News spoke to Shumate Tuesday regarding the situation, and at that time, he said everything was still under review.

“We appreciate coach Ward’s service and what he does for young people, but we have to take these kinds of matters seriously,” Shumate said Tuesday.

Ward was relieved of his coaching duties last week after video surfaced of LCMS players hitting a table with a baseball bat in celebration. Ward’s suspension became public when LCMS erroneously sent out the letter reprimanding him for the actions shown in the video. The letter was sent out via SendIt, going to parents, and providing a link to the letter.

The school meant to send a different press release.

Shumate said Tuesday that TCSS was reviewing how the information was accidentally sent out to parents.

“We regret the big letter given to Mr. Ward was sent out in public via Sendit,” Shumate said Tuesday. “It was certainly a mistake on the administration’s part, and that situation is under review.”

The LCMS football team played without Ward Wednesday night in a 20-14 defeat to Cowan Road in the West Georgia Middle School championship game.