DeSoto Eagles Football Coach Faces Uncertain Future

Just months after leading the school to its first state football title, DeSoto High School coach Todd Peterman could soon be out of a job.

The DeSoto Independent School District school board met behind closed doors Monday evening about Peterman's job status. After a three-hour executive session, the board announced that no further action would be taken on Monday night.

The board meeting drew a standing-room only crowd, which included several members of the Eagles' football team.

Just months after leading the school to its first state football title, DeSoto High School coach Todd Peterman could soon be out of a job.

The coach's contract is up for renewal, and several people who showed up for Monday's meeting said damage has already been done.

In December, DeSoto completed a 16-0 season with a Class 6A Division II state championship victory over Cibolo Steele at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

While his team celebrated its victory, Peterman was quick to praise the academic success of his players during an on-field interview with NBC 5's Pat Doney.

"I'm going to throw this in there - we have 18 Academic All-Staters, 67 seniors; when you have those kind of kids like that you get a chance to win a state championship," Peterman said.

There is no official word on why Peterman's job is on the line.

In an overnight statement to The Dallas Morning News, DeSoto ISD Board President Carl Sherman, Jr., indicated something significant going on behind the scenes.

"We've received information that warrants further consideration, and we've directed the superintendent to conduct additional due diligence right away," Sherman, Jr. stated. "We will release additional information as quickly as we possibly can."

In a series of tweets prior to the meeting, former NFL player and DeSoto star Zach Orr speculated that Peterman's race could be a factor.

Peterman is white, while DeSoto is a predominantly black community.

Vandous Stripling, a former DeSoto school board member, spoke sharply against the rumors of racial motivation.

"This is a crazy statement. Every single head coach in this district is Caucasian, except one. So to make such an asinine statement is embarrassing and ridiculous," Stripling said.

Orr encouraged his Twitter followers to attend the meeting in support of Peterman, and Orr's father, Terry Orr, spoke at the meeting in support of the head coach.

"There is nothing positive of coming out and saying, 'Hey, we got a coach that lead us to a state championship. I've got an idea - let's fire him.'" Terry Orr said.

Several Eagles players were seen gathered in a prayer circle during the board's closed session.

Board members reconvened Monday night's meeting at approximately 11:34 p.m. and officially took no action on the matter regarding Peterman's contract with the district.

Board President Sherman, Jr. addressed the concern of the crowd with a final statement, prior to adjourning the meeting.

"Please know that much consideration, as well as due diligence, will be done on behalf of the district to make sure that our community is proud of everyone that our district employs in our classrooms and presents to all of our students in our community at large," Sherman, Jr. said.

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