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(UPDATE: 12:38 p.m.) Joe Lampkin resigns as Mitchell's swim coach

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Tue. November 17, 2009 | Izzy Gould | Email

Under investigation for an incident during an overnight trip involving students, Joe Lampkin has resigned as Mitchell's swim coach.

In a text message to the Times, Lampkin said he resigned "due to lack of support" from the Mitchell High School administration. "I have not and would not consciously violate any rule or code of conduct," he wrote.

Lampkin's resignation was retroactive to Nov. 11, according Pasco County Schools employee relations supervisor Bryan Jack. However, Lampkin had been informed one day before he was suspended from coaching for an incident during a trip to Gainesville for a region swim meet.

Lampkin, who guided Mitchell's boys team to a second-place finish at regionals, was suspended for the Class 2A state meet in Orlando.

Jack said an investigation into Lampkin's conduct has concluded though he declined to provide specific details.

"It's been concluded and we've taken the appropriate action," Jack said.

Jack said Lampkin will continue to teach social studies at Gulf and remains eligible to coach high school sports.

"At this point he is still eligible, but we would have to take serious look," Jack said.

Last week, Mitchell principal Jim Michaels said the incident involving Lampkin was not the first.

"There was a groundswell of parent concern on how the team was functioning," Michaels told the Times last week. "They're mostly just difference of opinion on how he handles things. I'm not talking about lineups, but coaching style. … We also had a concern with the handling of a situation."

In terms of suspending Lampkin for the state meet, Michaels said: "I didn't feel it was in the best interest of the kids for him to travel with the team because it's an overnight trip." 

In 2007, Lampkin was not retained as Gulf's swim coach for unspecified reasons. But many Gulf parents and swimmers lobbied former Gulf principal Thomas Imerson and the Pasco County School Board to reconsider.

igould@tampabay.com

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