CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The football community at George Washington High School is in a furor over hurdles that are keeping a local coach from working with the football team.
Scott Tinsley, a former coach at WVU Tech, West Virginia State University and Nitro High School, wants to volunteer to help coach football at GW this fall but hasn't been able to gain approval from county administrators.
Last week, he went to a Kanawha County school board meeting, looking for answers — and approval to help coach — during the open comment portion. County officials have refused to speak publicly about Tinsley's case, though, until it can be brought before the board as an agenda item.
The earliest time that can happen, now, is at the board's next regular meeting next month when, Tinsley says, "football season is already well underway."
"I wish we could get it sorted out before then," he said.
Tinsley made an impassioned speech to the school board last week, countering rumors that he has a strained relationship with his family, has slept in the field house during other coaching assignments and has been in trouble with the law — all things he thought could hinder his approval to volunteer at GW, though he said he "hopes that's not it."
"No one has ever come to me and said, 'Scott, here's why you can't coach, can you talk to me about this?' " he said. "I wish this were a forum where you could ask me about all this . . . I guess what I'm doing is asking you all for a chance to work hard with these kids and work with them on the field.
"And one day I'd like to be able to see you at a ball game or at the grocery store and say thank you for what you're doing on the board, and you'll say to me, 'Thank you for what you're doing with our kids.' "
The football community at GW circulated a petition in support of Tinsley. It was presented to board members last week by Mike Mackey, president of the GW football boosters, along with a slew of letters from children and parents who have worked with Tinsley and support him as a coach.