If you’re reading this, you may be asking yourself if the coach broke the law - why does it matter what the motivation is behind the people who exposed it? As Reporter Brian Carlson talked with people involved with the situation, it became clear the motivation helps explain why the Alpine School District is handling it the way they have, and why the championship coach isn't coming back.
Coach Tony McGeary could easily be called a winner. In 2011, he coached Lone Peak High School to its first football state championship. But apparently McGeary couldn't win over one of his players’ parents.
Last year Dan McDonald's son played for Lone Peak. McDonald is the man who compiled the 42 page complaint accusing McGeary of illegally pocketing thousands of dollars from the team. McGeary was forced to resign. Now other parents who know McDonald tell ABC 4, that was the whole point from the beginning.
"He told me that he wanted to take McGeary down. He was done with it,” said Jill Walton, parent of Lone Peak H.S. football player.
Jill Walton said McDonald was upset his son wasn't playing.
"His biggest frustration for him was that his son wasn’t playing as much as he wanted him to play. He felt that his son should’ve been on the field more,” said Walton.
At first McDonald sent the coaches an email on Oct. 4, 2012 apologizing for how frustrated he had become over his son's lack of play. He attached a letter explaining his son's medical struggles and tried to appeal to the coaches' emotion saying, “please forgive me, after reading ____’s story, I hope you will have empathy for both of us.”
But apparently that didn't work. Just two weeks later he posted a message on his son's Facebook page telling his son "You're better than they know. You will be vindicated. Trust me on this one."
That's when Walton said McDonald began gathering information on the coach.
"He called me later in November and told me he didn’t want me to feel left out. He was putting a group of parents together to go after McGeary," said Walton.
Walton declined to join the group. McDonald gathered support without her, presented the complaint to the school district and told them he wanted the coach out.
Reporter Brian Carlson went to McDonald's home Friday to get McDonald’s side of the story.
"I wanted to give you an opportunity to talk to me before we put it on the air," Carlson said.
McDonald declined to do an interview. But later sent Carlson the following statement:
"In the Fall of 2012, a group of more than 20 concerned parents began investigating and reviewing rumors and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Mr. McGeary. This coalition of parents ranged from parents of starters and all stars to parents of benchwarmers, past and present. Though their motives, interests and experiences with Lone Peak Football were divergent, they all shared a mutual concern for the integrity of the program and the well-being of our boys and felt that there was need for a change. We presented the facts, as we understood them, to the school district. As a result of standing up for what we believed was right, my children and the children of others in our parent group have suffered physical assaults, death threats, cyber harassment, and threats of physical harm from members of our community, some of whom we regarded as dear friends. Nevertheless, we stand by our decision and feel that it is time for the community to move on and begin the healing process."
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson