(Daily Mountain Eagle/other Sources) JASPER–John Holladay did have a job until 4:40PM yesterday.
After Tuesday’s meeting with the Alabama High School Athletic Association, Holladay stepped down from his head coaching post four days after an on-field altercation caught on videotape with a Cullman coach Friday Night. Holladay is still suspended with pay since he is considered a physical education teacher and strength trainer and has neither resigned nor been dismissed from his position in the teaching capacity.
Both Walker High School and Cullman High School met with administrators at the AHSAA headquarters in Montgomery at 1PM Tuesday. Steve Savarese, the Executive Director of the AHSAA, released a statement on the brawl and aftermath.
“The AHSAA is saddened by the incident that occurred during the Cullman vs. Walker varsity football game and disappointed by the actions of those involved […] The AHSAA is always disappointed by any unsportsmanlike incident that involves players or coaches from our member schools. Our coaches are teachers first, and must demonstrate examples of good sportsmanship at all times. We truly understand the passions that are involved in competitive athletics, but we can never allow those passions to cross the line and become unsportsmanlike in nature.” –Steve Savarese, Executive Director, Alabama High School Athletic Association
Cullman initially decided to not take disciplinary action, according to the Superintendent of schools Dr. Doreen Griffeth, but that could change once the investigation is complete. Jasper Police Department is also investigating the incident and no word from them about criminal charges of any kind at the present moment.
Walker HS offensive coordinator Heath Brunner was named interim head coach after Holladay was put on administrative leave. A decision from Savarese and the AHSAA would be handed to both Walker and Cullman by Friday at the earliest, At that point, The Schools would have the decision to release the decision to the public or keep it in house. The AHSAA will also release a statement by Friday.
Fans on both sides of the football rivalry have spoken out, with some who saw it claiming Holladay was the principal aggressor, and Walker fans claiming Hopper from Cullman said something to set Holladay off. WBRC FOX 6 News aired a report about the public not being showed the whole video. Jasper fans say both coaches knew the arrangements would be to clear the field because of the tensions present between both teams’ fans and players. The rivalry went from bad to worse and now some form of consequences will be set by the AHSAA after a complete investigation.
Stay with The News for more details on this story.