Investigation of Chiles Football Coach Raises Questions

Investigation of Chiles Football Coach Raises Questions

An investigation by Chiles High School administrators into a complaint lodged against the school’s football coach, Kevin Pettis, has determined that the allegations – which included bullying and the use of demeaning language – were not confirmed. The finding was based on nine surveys completed by randomly selected football players and interviews of adults affiliated with the program.

However, several parents of Chiles High School football players have concerns about how the investigation was handled. One of the concerns is related to the fact that the football player survey was not anonymous. The parents believe this kept players from truthfully answering questions and others from participating.

Parents also believe the four day investigation was rushed and did not give fair consideration to the detailed complaints.

The Investigation

In a letter dated January 21, 2021, Leon County Schools Assistant-Superintendent Alan Cox informed Superintendent Rocky Hanna and the Leon County School Board about the complaint against Mr. Pettis and other coaches and the subsequent investigation.

The complaints, submitted anonymously to school officials, address 17 specific allegations which include verbal abuse of players, excessive use of foul language, “fat shaming”, physical abuse, and attacking an athlete’s perceived sexual preference.

The complaints were submitted in the form of detailed letters written by concerned parents.

Cox stated in the letter to school officials that he turned the complaint over to Chiles High School Principal Joe Burgess and requested an immediate investigation into the allegations. Coach Pettis was hired as Chiles football coach in 2017 while Burgess was the principal.

An investigation was conducted and the results were submitted to Mr. Cox on January 11th.

The results of the investigation indicated that answers from nine surveys “universally contradict the accusation” in the complaint. However, what was not mentioned in the letter by Assistant Superintendent Cox was that one survey provided answers that were consistent with a number of the allegations in the complaint.

Cox also wrote that the findings indicate that no person affiliated with the football program confirmed the allegations in the complaint and that Coach Kevin Pettis and other coaches denied all allegations.

Questions Remain

Parents of the football players who have made the allegations contend that the survey was not anonymous, despite assurances from school officials. TR verified the first question on the survey asked for the name and phone number of the player filling out the questionnaire.

The parents contend that players did not answer the questions honestly because of possible repercussions from being identified and players who did have complaints chose not to participate.

There are also concerns that the selection of the nine players was not random and that there were attempts to encourage players to provide answers favorable to Coach Pettis.

More Information

Assistant Superintendent Cox, at the end of his January 21st letter, stated that “I strongly encourage anyone with additional information to come forward.”

At the end of March, four surveys from Chiles football players were voluntarily submitted anonymously. The surveys were consistent with the allegations contained in the complaints. However, the information provided in the additional surveys have yet to result in any action from school officials.

TR has reached out to Assistant Superintendent Alan Cox and will update the story when more information becomes available.

33 Responses to "Investigation of Chiles Football Coach Raises Questions"

  1. Since I’ve been a Chiles High School Football player and am not meaning on doing so in the future. I can tell you what these kids in the program won’t. That the actual people who put work into this program and put their foot on the line for the team during practice on and off the field aren’t the ones allowed to play. This whole school is a joke, I’ve seen the sports politics play throughout my going on 4 years at Chiles. The kids on here telling you how much they love their coach, have been through hell. They (me included) are told how terrible they play constantly and then at the end, they get told that they’re doing their best and they’re appreciated. I was stuck in this constant cycle of abuse from coaching staff and was finally able to get out after 2 years. In recent years their has been a decrease in players for Chiles Football. Reason being these kids do not want to be practicing 4 hours a day, go home have no time to do anything outside football, watch the better players do whatever they want because at the end of the day “coach is going to fix it”. You can read this and think I couldn’t handle this team as a whole. But, I had stuck out for every single person on this team during my time playing for Chiles. If someone was down on the ground hurting from conditioning I would pick them up and run by their side. It wasn’t the players, it most definitely was not the work, it was this coaching staff that drove me away. Chiles Football will never be a successful team with this coach.

  2. So…this coach illegally recruits players from other school districts, attempts to increase the varsity team size by “bumping up” all sophomores, downgrades the schedule by playing smaller school teams than previous decades, is accused of bullying and abuse, gets paid money from AP funds when he has nothing to do with the AP program…and still can’t win games.
    It’s very sad as there are some great players with awesome talent on the varsity football team but as long as this head coach, pitiful Pettis, is there…the program will go nowhere but downhill.
    It’s a shame and no one all the way up to the school district will do anything about it.

  3. This is the guy that “sold” his school parking place under the table to Ricky Bell for under the table favors so his Ricky’s kid could have a cool parking spot. Yeah, seems to me this guy is corrupt like a lot of the people in influential positions in the hierarchy of LCSB! Dirt bags gonna do what dirt bags do! Come at me!

  4. Good catch SMH!

    I plead quilty as accused, although I do not think my error removes the elephant from the room.

  5. Concerned parent speak what u know. You’re clearly making things up. You don’t even know who I am. Where is your evidence of this happening?? Sometimes people need to worry bout they self instead of making up false accusations. You’re grown but don’t want to own up to saying this “Concerned Parent “ .

  6. I’m a parent & I can truly say. Pettis & his team in no way ever mistreated nor verbally assaulted any children from my sons point of view. He loved the fact that tough love is implemented. Being that half the guys don’t have the um to wanna play anyways. I however wish the fans would take some of that fuel & cheer our boys on for a great season!!!!!

  7. Anyone can write their opinion on here good or bad about this situation anonymously, mine included. What speaks volumes to me are these young men that have used their full real name on here taking the time to speak up for their coach and being a team against something they feel is not the full or accurate story. Whether you agree with their opinion or not, they have earned our respect. What a great group of young men.

  8. Are writing and grammer skills taught in public schools anymore? I realize this is not the subject being addressed in this article, but some of the responses are rather disturbing to TRY and read.

  9. My name is jacquez dickey a 3 year starter and my head coach Kevin Pettis is by far the best coach I have ever had when I was down and ready to leave he convince me to stay the only reason I go to school is because i know in order to play football I have to get my education also , and one thing I can say about Kevin Pettis is having good grades is his main priority when it comes to players. with that being said with out coach Pettis, no football without football, no school, so he go We go. HOKA HEY 4L

  10. This is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I only got the opportunity to play for Coach Pettis for 1 year due to the fact that I was already a senior when he took the job. Safe to say it was the second best season Chiles Football ever had. Pettis pushed us to be the best players we could possibly be, and it showed with the amount of offers the players received. It’s football, of course there is yelling and screaming, there is a lot of emotions in the game period, but to sit here and say we were the worst behaved is absurd. My senior year Lincoln High did everything, BUT play a clean game of football, and Coach Pettis was the one who taught us even during something like that to turn the other cheek and play the right way. Now, don’t take my kindness for weakness, because I don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye with Pettis, but he is by far the best football coach I know, and his resume proves it. Get a life and stop always harassing the man for doing something he truly loves.

  11. After reading the comments concerning the Chiles Football coaches complaints I have questions for Trent Lovett & Dallas Jackson. Dallas, you were the player who had to do up downs in front of Coach Pettis’s desk after he sang his “fat shaming” song to you – you were angry about it (and rightly so) and flipped the coach off, hence the up/down punishment. Trent Lovett, you filmed it on your phone and shared it with other players – I saw this video personally and wondered at the time if this was a form of hazing as it certainly was inappropriate. Both of you boys know first hand this was wrong on every level and wonder about your comments. Dallas, you have been called “fat boy” by more than one coach on more than just a few occasions. It’s hurtful and demeaning. Do either of you find this behavior from coaching staff acceptable?

  12. Hey this is Dallas Jackson a player at chiles high- my 2 years playing for chiles high school has been the best two years of my life. The coaching staff -including coach kp [.teaches us discipline, and how to be leaders on and off the field. My coaches are the backbone of this team without them we would be who we are today -HOKA HEY 4L??

  13. Hey this is Tre’avis Jones a player apart of Chiles football Team I just wanted to say since I been here All of the coaches have treated me good and making me a better man on the field in off the field and pushing me my teammates to be the greatest we can be and turning us to great young man and leaders/role models.Coach Pettis is the best coach I ever had in my life.So please don’t talk down on someone who treats everyone the same and gives everyone a opportunity to show their skills and potential. -HOKA HEY 4L??

  14. All I can say is without coach pettis there is no chiles football. Off the field I have built a great relationship with him and he has inspired me beyond measures. I truly look up to him as more than a coach. He is one of the few reasons I can look forward to school
    -Ernie Toussaint

  15. Hey this Rayqwon smith one of the players at Chiles high school in I been at Chiles for 6 months I’m since I been there all the coaches had made me a better man in more a student then athlete

  16. I am a chiles varsity player going on my junior season the comments about coach Pettis are outrageous and over exaggerated yelling is fine all that matters is that he cares he’s trying to get as many kids as possible to college for free and every kid gets an opportunity to show their talent and skill and our coach believe in playing the best 11 just because we had one losing season the last few years he’s changed the chiles football program with winning records and even going to the playoffs 2 years in a row and i love coach pettis to death he’s done everything he can do to help me in and outside of football so please don’t talk down on someone who treats everyone the same and gives everyone opportunities the team is entitlement free everyone does the same amount of work and players who cant handle high school coaching cant handle being coached in college.

  17. Wow, glad i’m not one of your kids. The comments on here are crazy. Is it possible that maybe the coach is a bad guy and some kids were actually abused or mistreated? It seems that everyone is automatically assuming that the coach is a great guy and the kids are just babies. What the kids are is just that, kids, minors 14-17 year olds. They have a right to be protected. They have a right to play on a team with a coach that respects them and doesn’t constantly cuss them, berate them and demean them. Did you read Alan Cox’s letter? This is not normal coaching banter. Do a little research instead of believing everything you think. This coach has a history you can read about for yourself if you take time to look into it.

  18. Not looking forward to having to deal with all this nonsense drama once my daughter grows up. Southern small town gonna southern small town. High school is the peak for so many around here no wonder this nonsense is a news story.

    Probably going to move because good God.

  19. My son has played Chiles varsity all four years. His coaches helped him get recruits to play football at a small college. The statement that Chiles is the worst school in the district is a complete lie. The biggest “s” talkers during the game was…wait for it… JP2. I can tell you the offensive line players for Chiles work their butts off while some player change schools for better opportunities. I hear this garbage all the time, Chiles is an spoiled brat school. I’m in law enforcement and I can tell you my co workers who work these football games would much rather work a Chiles game. This complaint is complete garbage. Somebody got their feelings hurt. Yeah my son got his feelings hurt and worked harder. Whoever “game day” is seriously misinformed. Oh forgot to say I’ve also been on the parents football board all four years. Give me some examples of the behavior. Please.

  20. Cry babies and mama’s boys shouldn’t go out for the team. Remember when your mama told you that you were special? She lied.

  21. I seem to recall tough local legends that many men in this area played for. They may not have been perfect but they helped mold young men with faith and good character. They prayed with players and built them up instead of demeaning abusive language or physical threats. 2 Hall of Famers in Bowden and Dungy seemed to do pretty well with this same approach. Better should be demanded today.

  22. There is a big difference between yelling at a kid and insulting them. Calling players gay and a cross dresser doesn’t make them better players. Pettis is a military style coach which doesn’t work on a team which everyone should be equal striving for the same goal prof is the 1-6 record from last year
    Ps you are paid in boot camp

  23. A complaint lodged that included bullying and the use of demeaning language? Have you EVER attended a Football practice? Hell, have you EVER attended PE Classes? That’s what Coaches DO. They yell and scream at you while you attempt to do what is assigned. The Coach yells at you ……to do BETTER. That’s their Job. God forbid your Kids ever join the Army and have to go to Bootcamp.

  24. Why aren’t girls who suffer from Gender Dysphoria demanding to compete with the boys in boy’s sports? Why is it we only hear about the guys who want to be gals? Why haven’t organizations like the WNBA and the LPGA et al… been disbanded, and the team owners forced to assimilate those girls onto their rosters?

    Would it be because the girls payed closer attention in “Science” and “Biology” class?

    … just curious

  25. Chiles Football is a disorganized, talentless, unsportsmanlike, brat show. Football rarely plays well, their coaches scream obscenities and insults up and down the sideline instead of coaching or having a play and Chiles players are clueless and obnoxious to opponents and referees, which is allowed and encouraged by the coaches. My kids high school plays against Chiles in football, basketball, lacrosse and baseball and even the LCSO deputy patrolling the games confirmed that Chiles is consistently “the worst” behaved teams and coaches in Tallahassee across all sports he works. I have seen it and heard it first hand many times, so have all the parents on both sides and when the Sheriff said “they are always the worst” …. I believe it.

  26. Gee, a high school football coach that talks a little mean to his players?! (Clutching my pearls in shocked disbelief.?) Perhaps the offended players and parents would be happier playing tennis or flag football. Grow a pair, you freaking babies.

  27. I’m sorry… I thought the accused had the right to face his or her accusers in this country? If you got sumthin’ to say put your name to it. Otherwise, its just anonymous rumor that should be as suspect as the accused.

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