Foul language leads to reprimand of football coach Frye

After last Friday’s football loss to the Elida Bulldogs, Wapakoneta Redskins varsity head coach Doug Frye used “unacceptable” profanity while addressing his team in the locker room, sources say, resulting in the team’s offensive coordinator resigning and at least six players leaving the team.

For his conduct, Wapakoneta City Schools administrators on Wednesday reprimanded Frye.

Requests for comment from Wapakoneta City Schools Athletic Director Brad Rex were directed to Superintendent Keith Horner, who said, “It’s a personnel matter, and we’re not going to talk about it.”

He would not comment further. 

However, a public records request for Frye’s personnel file showed an official letter of reprimand from Horner dated for Wednesday. 

The letter revealed that an audio tape was delivered to school personnel Saturday, which Horner said needed to be addressed. The audio tape was of the post-game speech he gave his players after the 21-14 loss to the Elida Bulldogs on Aug. 31. 

“On the audio tape was a recording of you during the post-game talk after the Elida football game on August 31,” Horner wrote to Frye in the letter of reprimand. “During that audio talk, you used the “f” word repeatedly. Doug, this behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. This is true in the past, present, and the future, You have indicated that you have heard the concerns and will not use that language in the future.”

A public record request for the audio file is being reviewed by Wapakoneta City Schools.

Also in Horner’s letter to Frye, the letter of reprimand states, “Upon conversations with players and parents regarding the incident, it has been reported that you have compared an old Wapakoneta versus a new Wapakoneta. This can and has been perceived as disrespectful to Wapakoneta in general and I would suggest you be very aware of that when comparing your style of commitment to what has been traditional for Wapakoneta.”

The comment Horner is referring is a quote published in Saturday’s edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News after Friday’s game, where Frye said, “We need to step it up because we’re fading back to the old Wapakoneta ways, and it’s going to be my job to make sure we don’t fade back to those ways.”

Horner’s letter continued by noting some “unacceptable” language the coach used.

“Conversations have indicated that you have referred to our kids’ actions as ‘p------.’ Again, that is totally unacceptable and it is not how we expect our kids to be treated,” Horner wrote to Frye.

Horner said this letter was serving as a formal reprimand, and that any future incidents would result in additional and more severe discipline.

“I firmly believe you have the unique ability to motivate at a very high level and demand kids to work very hard and be very loyal to you without the use of these techniques,” Horner wrote to Frye.

In response, Frye wrote a statement of regret.

“In my passion to get the best from our kids, I used a few inappropriate words,” Frye wrote. “I love our kids and community. I look forward to doing my best to help our young men reach their potential.”

The letter indicated that Frye hosted team meetings over this past weekend to address the team and the coaches. During these meetings, Frye apologized.

However, multiple sources that have requested to remain anonymous have confirmed to the Wapakoneta Daily News that at least six members of the football team have quit. It is undetermined how many have quit specifically because of Frye’s actions. 

The Wapakoneta Daily News has decided not to disclose the names of the students until after either  Frye or the students have addressed their status on the team publicly.

Frye, reached by phone Wednesday morning, said that all personnel matters were internal issues, and he would not discuss who may or may not have quit.

Mark Law, offensive coordinator for the Redskins last season and the first two games this season, submitted a letter of resignation to Rex on Tuesday morning. The letter of resignation stated he resigned from the team, effective Monday.

The letter of resignation, obtained through a public records request by the Wapakoneta Daily News, stated no clear reason for his resignation.

“I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as assistant football coach, effective September 3,” Law wrote in the letter. “I appreciate the support provided me during my tenure with the football program. If I can be of any help during this transition, please let me know.”

Law was reached by phone Wednesday afternoon, but declined any additional comment. 

Multiple sources close to the football team say the reason Law resigned is similar to the complaints of the students — he is upset with Frye.

Frye confirmed Wednesday he would be assuming the duties of the offensive coordinator for Friday’s home-opener against the Bath Wildcats.