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Nature Coast football coach Jamie Joyner resigns

Jamie Joyner, the Sharks’ coach for five seasons, was serving a second suspension in less than six months. His team’s onfield brawl in November led to a postseason ban last year.

LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN | Times

Jamie Joyner, the Sharks’ coach for five seasons, was serving a second suspension in less than six months. His team’s onfield brawl in November led to a postseason ban last year.

With a hand-delivered, one-sentence letter to his principal, embattled Nature Coast football coach Jamie Joyner resigned from his coaching and teaching positions Monday.

At the time, Joyner remained suspended with pay — his second suspension in less than six months — while the Hernando County school district looked into allegations he met off campus with an 18-year-old female Nature Coast student in late March.

Joyner, a physical education teacher, did not immediately respond to messages left on his cell phone or at his home Monday.

"I did not ask him to resign," Nature Coast principal Tizzy Schoelles said. "He resigned his teaching position, which in effect resigned his coaching position."

According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office incident report, Joyner and the female student were observed by a patrolling deputy sitting in their own parked vehicles at the Airport Industrial Park in Brooksville the evening of March 27.

The report says Joyner and the student gave conflicting reports to the deputy about why they were meeting.

A married father of two, Joyner, 34, was briefly suspended with pay by the school district in November following accusations he threw punches during a bench-clearing brawl in a game at Groveland South Lake. Authorities never filed charges in that case, and Joyner wasn't disciplined by the school board.

A former Sharks defensive coordinator and longtime assistant at Tarpon Springs' East Lake High, Joyner compiled a 29-23 record in five seasons.

His 2008 club was 9-0, but as a result of the brawl at South Lake, the Florida High School Athletic Association forced it to forfeit its season finale against Central, banned it from postseason play and fined the school $10,400.

The team also is banned from participating in a contest this spring. Sharks athletic director Travis Lamle said the administration has not determined who will run the team during spring practice, which starts two weeks from Friday.

"I met with the football coaching staff (Monday). We're going to meet with the football team (today)," said Schoelles, who is moving to Fox Chapel Middle School and will be replaced at Nature Coast by senior school district administrator Sonya Jackson.

"I put a call in to (Jackson) to ask to put an ad (for the coaching job) in immediately. We'll look at internal candidates. If Ms. Jackson is comfortable with an internal candidate I believe it would be in the best interest of the program to have one in place for spring practice. If not, (the hiring process) will take longer."

Nature Coast football coach Jamie Joyner resigns 04/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 1:37pm]
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