LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Butler High School’s baseball coach, under investigation after the parent of a player complained that players directed racial slurs at his son, will not coach the team next season, the coach’s attorney said Tuesday.
Chris Ryan, a biology teacher at Doss High School, was notified that his contract as Butler’s baseball coach will not be renewed for next season, according to attorney Thomas Clay.
Clay said he had not discussed the matter with his client and did not know details of the contract decision.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to Coach Ryan to see if he was given any reasons or whether it was one of those things where they called him in and advised him they weren’t going to renew,” Clay told WDRB News.
Ryan posted on social media that he had "never been more disappointed in an administration than today."
"Right now I’m going to take the high road," he wrote in the post. "Just know that I’m fully prepared to tell the whole truth and I intend to do just that."
Never been more disappointed in an administration than today.Right now I’m going to take the high road. Just know that I’m fully prepared to tell the whole truth and I intend to do just that.— Chris Ryan (@coachryan35) June 11, 2019
Ryan, who was in his first year as Butler’s coach, was suspended from his coaching duties April 22 after a parent, Gary Austin, complained that his son was the target of racial epithets during his senior campaign with the team.
In a May 31 interview with WDRB News, Clay said no one had brought such allegations to Ryan’s attention. “I think anybody can be assured that if they had been brought to his attention, he would have taken affirmative and positive action to address these comments,” he said at the time.
Austin did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday. He said previously that he asked Ryan to “do something about it because it was unfair.”
“That’s when he went on to tell me that I see it as a problem, he did not see it as a problem, and there’s nothing that he could do about it,” Austin said in a May 31 phone interview.
Clay speculated that a lack of playing time was central to Austin's issues with Ryan, which Austin denied. Austin said his son had been dealing with similar issues on the team for multiple seasons.
JCPS spokesman Daniel Kemp said Butler administrators decided not to renew Ryan's contract on Tuesday, noting that coaches receive one-year contracts. The investigation is ongoing, according to JCPS Communications Director Renee Murphy.
Whether Ryan will seek legal action is unclear.
“I certainly intend to consult with Coach Ryan to find out if he’s interested in pursuing any legal remedies, and I’ll support him fully if that’s his choice,” Clay said.
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