Clayton’s football coach resigns amid turmoil at school


CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) – Clayton High School’s football coach has resigned, sources confirmed to CBS 17 Tuesday.

Hunter Jenks stepped down as head coach of the Comets amid turmoil at Clayton High School.

“I recognize the timing of this decision will be difficult for those involved. However, my family and I have endured a lot this year and as I step back and reflect, I need to make decisions based on what is best for them,” said Jenks in a letter to parents and players.

Jenks went on to say he accepted a position closer to home.

A spokesperson for Wake County Public Schools confirms Jenks will coach football at West Millbrook Middle School, and teach ALC.

Clayton High School Football players said they were surprised, but understood Jenks’ decision.

“Coach Jenks has to do what’s best for his family. There’s a lot of, a cloud in suspicion and innuendo that has been over this school and this team for the past two and half months,” said mom Kim Winslow.

Parents and players said the football program came under investigation earlier this year, after accusations of grade-fixing.

In his letter to students, Jenks said district Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow, met with him and members of the 2019 Clayton football program on August 13th to Saussure them “that there was no evidence of academic fraud, player ineligibility or recruiting found as a result of the 10 week investigation this summer.”

Jenks also thanks Dr. Bennett Jones in his letter, calling him a “phenomenal leader and mentor.”

Jones, who served as principal since 2016, was reassigned to the role of lead administrator of Choice Plus as of Aug. 12, the Johnston County Schools System confirmed.

“If there was anything egregious that happened, Dr. Jones would have been fired or suspended. Coach Jenks would have been fired or suspended,” said Winslow.

Jones reassignment has been met with sharp criticism and backlash.

Students rallied at school board meetings since his reassignment demanding Jones be brought back as principal.

The district would not say why Jones was moved to a different role within the school system saying it was a confidential personnel matter

“If he is good enough to remain in Johnston County in a leadership position, why is he not good enough to remain at this school,” Winslow said.

Students are planning a rally this Thursday in Clayton Town Square. As many as 1,200 people are expected.

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