Community Turns Out to Support Ousted Riverside High School Coach - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Community Turns Out to Support Ousted Riverside High School Coach

Riverside High Cross Country coach Bill Kemp was fired after 30 years on the job because he didn't attend a required training meeting, according to the school's principal (Photo: KHQ) Riverside High Cross Country coach Bill Kemp was fired after 30 years on the job because he didn't attend a required training meeting, according to the school's principal (Photo: KHQ)

by Kevin Randall
KHQ Reporter

SPOKANE, Wash.- After 30 years as the Cross Country coach at Riverside High School, Bill Kemp was asked to step down. But the community sent a clear message to the school board that they want their coach back. There wasn't an empty chair at the Riverside School District board meeting Thursday night.

Many came to the meeting to demand that the board to give Kemp his job back.

Coach Kemp says Principal John McKoy took his title away simply because he did not attend a required training meeting for coaches in June. He said he couldn't attend the meeting because he was recovering from a major surgery on his foot, and he was on restrictive medication. Kemp said the principal's actions were too harsh, and many at Thursday night's meeting felt the same way.

One of Kemp's student-athletes said he wants his coach back, but understands there are two sides to every story.

"You always feel like your missing a part of it, you can never get the whole story when there's conflict," said cross-country runner Austin Antles. "You just have to try and hope that one is telling the truth, and both sides are telling the truth."

Board members went into a 15-minute executive session that turned into 50-minutes. They finally voted to allow Coach Kemp to discuss his future in the athletic department with the athletic director, which means – for now at least – that he doesn't get his job back.

Coach Kemp didn't want to comment on the vote, but thanked everyone who came to the board meeting. Kemp is still a teacher at Riverside High School, but whether he can continue coaching is still in question.

Neither the school board nor Principal McKoy had anything to say about Kemp's firing. They said they could not comment on the issue because it was a personnel matter.

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