South Jersey Football Coach: I Was Fired for Having Too Many Black Players
CHERRY HILL — A South Jersey high school football coach says he's being forced out because he has too many black athletes on his team.
Camden Catholic High School, located in Cherry Hill, informed Nick Strom on Friday that his contract as a history teacher would not be renewed for next year. The Courier-Post reported he also was asked to resign from his posts as head football and golf coach, and was fired Monday evening.
Strom alleges officials fired him because he isn't "conforming with their viewpoints" on what they want the student body and the football team to look like. He says he was asked multiple times about student athletes' ethnicities.
He told the newspaper a letter from school President Mary Whipkey explained that several issues brought up by the administration during the school year which were not addressed to their satisfaction led to his contract not being renewed. Some of the issues included violations of the school's professional dress code, showing disrespect to Whipkey, leaving class early to prepare for golf, and allowing students to leave his class to "hang out" in other areas of the school.
Word of Strom being let go prompted 22 students to walk out of school on Monday morning, according to the report, and 25 parents met with the administration to discuss Strom. Parents told the newspaper that administrators said they could not answer questions about Strom but would listen to their concerns.
Strom's teams have been 34-6 since he took over the program in 2013.
Whipkey denies Strom's allegations, saying she never discussed race with him.
In a statement to the Courier Post, the school said Strom chose "to muddy the reasons for his dismissal with baseless accusations against the school and administration."
The school, which is run by the Diocese of Camden, has an enrollment of 721 students according to the National Center for Education Statistics. One hundred and thirteen of its students are black.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.