FAIRBORN — Britton Devier, who was slated to become the new Fairborn football coach last month, has been hired as the head football coach at Willard High School in Huron County, pending board approval in April, according to the Sandusky Register.
“Happy to be the newest member of the Willard Flashes family,” Devier tweeted March 18. “Excited for the opportunity to lead the football program …”
Devier was unanimously approved to serve as Fairborn High School’s head football coach during the district’s Feb. 4 school board meeting. District officials rescinded the offer four days later during an emergency meeting.
According to a release from the Fairborn City School District explaining the rescinded offer, “Upon further research and reflection, the board decided that he (Devier) would not be a good for Fairborn City Schools and therefore the offer of employment has been rescinded.”
Court documents from the Northern District of Ohio Western Division revealed that Devier, former head football coach at Woodmore High School, was allegedly involved in a now-settled civil rights case in 2014, in which “tortuous misconduct” was alleged to have been committed against a minor child during football practice in September 2013 as a means of punishing and hazing particular team members.
Devier was ultimately dismissed from the case.
According to an email obtained by the Fairborn Daily Herald through an open records request, school board member Jeri Ann Luce was informed of the lawsuit by acting superintendent Terry Riley Feb. 3.
In response to an email from Luce asking, “Who is the football coach we are voting on and where is he coming from?” Riley wrote, “… There is one negative mark if you do a Google search regarding a lawsuit which was subsequently dropped. It was a situation in which a student got hurt but did not say anything to the coach or position coach. He then went home and the parents took him to the hospital where he spent the night. Britton was named in the suit because he was head coach but the parents were really after the position coach. Per the superintendent of that school, whose son was also on the team, Britton was named only because he was head coach. The suit was dropped. Lots of kudos for Britton from this particular superintendent.”
Devier told this newspaper that he was asked to remove himself from consideration shortly thereafter.
“I was asked by Superintendent (Terry) Riley to withdrawal my application but declined,” Devier wrote in an email to Fairborn Daily Herald. “The hiring committee chose me as the best candidate and I agree with them … I have sat back for two years and watched my name get drug through the mud. Fairborn was aware of the issue at Woodmore during the hiring process and I was open about the situation. I can assure you I am more than qualified and deserving of the head football coaching job at Fairborn. I have and will continue to coach football. Anyone can file a lawsuit for a few dollars, that does not make the claims true.”
Chris Roark was hired to serve as Fairborn High School’s head coach earlier this month.
As of press time, Fairborn school officials could not be reached for comment.
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532; Greene County News Reporter Scott Halasz contributed to this story.