Cleburne Football Coach Submits Fiery Resignation Letter

A high school football coach is making accusations of a hostile work environment, bullying and sabotage in his resignation letter to the Cleburne Independent School District.

Jeff Merket is resigning as Cleburne High School coach.

The letter was obtained by the Cleburne Times-Review, and the coach himself confirmed its authenticity.

In it, Merket informs the superintendent and board of trustees that he is resigning at the end of his contract in June.

Former three-term mayor Ted Reynolds spoke with NBC 5 at the Chaf-In Restaurant and says it's the talk of the town.

"I don't even pretend to know what precipitated that," said Reynolds.

Merket has been with the district for five-and-a-half years and is the head football coach and assistant athletic director.

He wrote, "unfortunately, this resignation is due to the hostile work environment I have experienced since the hiring of new administrators under Dr. Kyle Heath."

Health is the superintendent of schools.

Merket claims some top school officials "have used such malicious tactics as bullying, harassment and retaliation and have threatened poor evaluations and non-renewal if I did not comply with their schemes."

The school district only confirms to NBC 5 that it has accepted Merket's resignation.

When asked about the allegations leveled against specific employees, the district's spokeswoman said they could not comment on personnel matters.

"He says what he thinks," said Reynolds.

Reynolds expressed surprise given Merket led the Yellowjackets to the playoffs for the first time in several years.

"Cleburne is the kind of town that just having a winning record, that's just not good enough," said Reynolds.

The former politician isn't picking sides, hoping instead for a do-over.

"You can rescind a resignation," he said. "I would hope that he would do that and I would hope that they would change their mind."

Merket spoke with NBC 5 at his home. However, he said his attorney and the school have advised him not to speak publicly about the issue anymore.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Merket submitted his resignation from the same school district in 2013 but ended up rescinding it.

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