Hamilton defensive coordinator Tim Dougherty placed on paid administrative leave - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Hamilton defensive coordinator Tim Dougherty placed on paid administrative leave

Hamilton defensive coordinator Tim Dougherty placed on paid administrative leave
Sports and Recreation

Hamilton defensive coordinator Tim Dougherty has been placed on paid administrative leave and will not coach the 2022 football season for the Huskies, according to an email from his attorney, Marcus “Rocky” Finefrock.

“There will be no postseason suspension,” Finefrock wrote in the email. “Due to public sentiment, CUSD, in their infinite wisdom, will be offering the AIA a sacrificial lamb – arguably the #1 defensive coordinator in Arizona in turn for a shot at the playoffs.”

Finefrock, in a later email, clarified Dougherty was placed on administrative leave but will remain on campus as a teacher.

The decision has yet to be officially announced by Hamilton High School and Chandler Unified School District. Stephanie Ingersoll, the executive director, marketing & communications for CUSD, said in an email Wednesday the district could not share more information.

However, a letter to Hamilton football families Wednesday announced defensive line coach Parker Barrett would take over duties normally performed by a defensive coordinator.

A copy of the letter was sent to The Tribune.

“The purpose of this message is to make you aware that beginning today, August 24, Mr. Parker Barrett will be assuming the duties typically performed by a defensive coordinator,” the letter said.

“The football community is familiar with Coach Barrett as he has 12 years of varsity football experience, 4 of those serving as defensive line coach at Hamilton where he also teaches. Thank you for your continued support of Hamilton High School and Chandler Unified School District.”

Dougherty was at the forefront of a recruiting violation stemming from direct messages he sent to a Cesar Chavez player this summer after a 7-on-7 and big man competition.

Cesar Chavez Athletic Director Lenny Doerfler took to social media to express his displeasure with the messages sent to his school’s players.

“STOP CONTACTING/RECRUITING CHAVEZ FOOTBALL PLAYERS,” he wrote. “There is absolutely no reason for a coach, player, parent, trainer or anyone else to reach out to one of our athletes online or in person. A few examples of what our athletes are receiving.”

Doerfler went on to post screenshots of the messages. The identity of the player was hidden in the screenshots. However, Dougherty commented on the player’s ability at the defensive line position after watching him during a 7-on-7 and big man competition held by Arizona Varsity’s Just Chilly in June.

Dougherty, in the messages, compared the athlete to former Hamilton defensive lineman Deuce Davis, who is now at the University of Arizona. Dougherty went on to explain that Hamilton’s defense has been one of the top units in the state the last three years, and that they “always plan on playing 14 games at Hamilton,” eluding to the Huskies desire to compete for championships.

“… so only 1/3 of the season against best competition in the state,” Dougherty added. “Iron Sharpens Iron.”

On Monday, July 15, the Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board voted to place the Hamilton football program on probation for the violation, which makes the Huskies ineligible for the postseason for a year.

Hamilton, with the support from CUSD officials, filed an appeal with the AIA.

Hamilton administration previously submitted corrective action for the violation, which included a three-game suspension for Dougherty. Shortly after the AIA Executive Board’s decision, Dougherty retained Finefrock as his attorney.

Finefrock, in the emailed statement Wednesday, criticized the AIA for its decision last spring in a similar situation involving the Desert Edge football program. A student at the school asked his uncle, who is one of the head coaches of the program, if he would give a family friend a ride to school if he enrolled.

The coach responded, “yup,” according to minutes from the board meeting agenda in March. The AIA issued Desert Edge a warning.

“When you look at the AIA decision regarding the one year warning of Desert Edge for a recruiting violation by a head coach, a violation that is actually listed in the bylaws vs. the penalty for Hamilton, it’s clear there could only be an unfair AIA bias against Hamilton,” Finefrock said.

“Like Desert Edge, Hamilton has no history of recruiting violations. Two very different rulings for first time recruiting violations.”

Hamilton’s appeal with the AIA Executive Board will be heard Tuesday, Aug. 30.