SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Two days after being placed on administrative leave, Southlake Carroll head football coach Hal Wasson responded publicly for the first time Friday.
In the statement released by his attorney Karl Tiger Hanner, Wasson was “stunned” to hear the district was placing him on administrative leave.
“From the day he was hired as Head Football Coach and Boy’s Athletic Coordinator at Southlake Carroll, Coach Wasson has worked tirelessly to build a successful program founded on character, integrity and respect,” the statement read. Over the past eleven years, the Southlake Carroll Dragons have enjoyed tremendous success on the playing field, but more importantly, Coach Wasson and his staff have always endeavored to do things the right way. As coaches, they have tried to treat all players with dignity and respect.”
Wasson has been at Southlake Carroll for the past 11 seasons, leading the Dragons to the school’s eighth State Championship in 2011.
The school district said Wednesday that it is taking a closer look at the operations of the football program to ensure it is aligned with its core values and the rules and regulations that go with high school athletics.
According to a Carroll ISD news release, the review covers three main areas:
The culture of the football program as it compares to district expectations and the upholding of our core values
Our procedures as they relate to UIL rules
Ensuring employees’ understanding and compliance with district policies, practices and guidelines
In Hanner’s statement Friday, he says that “core values” are very important to Coach Wasson.
“I noticed that Dr. Faltys mentioned the importance of “core values.” I can assure you that instilling “core values” in his players is at the heart of everything Coach Wasson and his coaches do as a program every single day.”
The school’s statement went on to say:
At this time, we are working with the head coach of this program, as well as his staff, to identify any areas of concern that need to be addressed with the UIL, the School Board or administratively. Paid leave is standard procedure for this kind of review, which means our assistant coaches will continue to handle off-season football. At this point there have been no other administrative actions or decisions impacting staff or the program.
Carroll ISD takes this matter seriously and wants to be thorough in our review on behalf of our district, program and community. We have been in direct contact with the UIL to let them know of our ongoing review. Once completed, there will be a report of our findings shared with the UIL.
Hanner went on to say that Coach Wasson welcomes the investigation and is looking forward to defending himself and the program.
“While Coach Wasson is understandably embarrassed about being placed on involuntary leave, he actually welcomes the scrutiny of the Dragon program and his actions as Head Football Coach. I can assure you that he intends to cooperate fully with the District during this investigation. Hopefully, the outcome will be driven by facts and not politics or personal agendas.
In closing, Coach Wasson has asked me to implore the Carroll ISD community to not allow this investigation to become divisive. The focus must remain and always be the children of the District. Despite the fact that Coach Wasson wishes this situation had been handled differently, he actually looks forward to defending himself and his program during this process.”