Decatur school board parts ways with athletic director and football coach Mike Fuller

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Head football coach and athletic director Mike Fuller is out of a job after the school board voted 4-2 Friday evening to accept a resignation agreement.

The vote came following an executive session during a specially-called board meeting that lasted for almost eight hours.

Superintendent Joseph Coburn declined to comment on details of the agreement but said, “It was a long day, and everybody worked really hard. I have told Mike Fuller and his coaching staff how appreciative I am of all of them.”

Derrick Boyd, an attorney representing Fuller, said he could not comment on the specific details of the resignation agreement but said it should be finalized over the weekend.

“Coach Fuller appreciates the support given all that he has been through,” he said.

Boyd said trustees did not provide reasons for why they wanted Fuller to resign.

“We were informed that there were four board members who wanted to part ways,” Boyd said.

Boyd said his client was told that the superintendent got a call from the school board president saying there was an employment matter to discuss.

When asked what led to the resignation agreement, Coburn referred questions to trustees.

“I choose to believe that our board of trustees absolutely operates in what they consider to be in the best interest of the community and the kids in the district they serve,” he said.

Board president Thomas Houchin could not be reached for comment. A recording stated that his voicemail box was full.

Coburn said his primary focus is on the coaching staff and student athletes.

“Change is difficult no matter the circumstances. I’ve got a whole lot of folks on our coaching staff and student athletes. My job right now is to try to throw a blanket over them and tell them they are doing a great job and that they will have a great school year,” Coburn said.

According to the Wise County Messenger, trustees voted unanimously on March 22 to renew Fuller’s contract.

Boyd had told the newspaper in a statement that an attorney for the school district contacted him on June 9 to inform him that Fuller was on the agenda for the regularly-scheduled meeting for Monday, June 21. But on Sunday, Boyd said the school district’s attorney contacted him again because board president Thomas Houchin said Fuller’s employment status was going to be discussed at the specially-called meeting on Friday.

Since Fuller came to Decatur seven years ago as athletic director, Decatur has won multiple state championships in several sports, including several for volleyball and boys cross-country titles in 2018 and 2019.

The football team went to the playoffs during seven consecutive years.

This is not the first time that Decatur school trustees discussed an administrator’s employment. Last month, the school board spent four hours in an executive session discussing a possible separation agreement with Coburn.

The board took no action on the proposed agreement.