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Loudoun Valley head football coach sacked

Danny McGrath was fired in the evening of Aug. 29. Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser
Loudoun Valley High School Varsity football coach Danny McGrath was fired Aug. 29, to the surprise of parents and players.

School administration officials have yet to comment on the reason for his dismissal.

The move comes in the wake of the school's controversial decision against installing impact sensors on football and lacrosse players' helmets.

“He [Coach McGrath] is no longer the head coach of the Loudoun Valley football program,” said Wayde Byard, public information officer for Loudoun County Public Schools. “Both LCPS and Mr. McGrath are in the safety business. We would never punish [a teacher or coach] for advocating child safety.”

Parents aren't so sure. In a meeting held Sept. 1 involving parents and members of the Loudoun Parent Teacher Association, they called for McGrath's reinstatement as head coach.

“The Loudoun Valley community is outraged over the dismissal of Coach McGrath, and we demand his immediate reinstatement,” said parents in a statement released Sept. 1. “We support our players and the entire coaching staff and call for a complete independent investigation.”

In the past year, McGrath had been pushing for three specific safety changes on Loudoun Valley's football field.

First, that the team should play within its own classification, playing schools whose ability matched that of the home players.

Second, adding rest time for junior varsity players to avoid injuries.

And third, the now infamous issue of the installation of helmet sensors.

Suspicion over his removal from the position of coach comes from past allegations of teachers and staff being bullied by the high school's administration, according to Dee Howard, a Loudoun Valley parent.

And with the helmet sensors affair still fresh, parents see McGrath's removal as far from coincidental.

“It was stated, there've been many articles on it, that teachers have been bullied by Loudoun Valley administration,” said Howard. “With Coach McGrath and issues he'd been working on with safety for almost a year now, it was definitely evident that there were issues with Loudoun Valley administration and his views.”

McGrath will remain the physical education teacher at the high school. He will continue to receive his coaching stipend, and Howard said his removal as head coach won't appear in his personnel file.

Practice will continue as usual on Mondays.

Currently, the position of head coach is open for hire.

“We're currently seeking an active head coach,” said Byard. “We'll let parents know in the coming days who the head coach is.”


@westernloudoun. Ok, prove it. And putting them on the helmet doesn’t give a true indication. The helmet protects the head. The sensors should be on the head for a true reading. Perhaps they need touch football out in western loudoun….

the edmyers comment is what we are up against folks…meddling parents who feel $250 gives them the keys to the kingdom. In an increasingly prissy society, folks want impossible guarantees….or else….you guessed it….they’ll sue. Why don’t they just have their kids participate in less physical sports, or perhaps the arts, and stop trying to push their liberal agenda on the rest of us?

@jplegend: If you want government to have complete control over the school athletic programs then pay for it completely. Don’t tell parents they have to pay $250 per sport and then tell them to go sit in the stands and shut up. Once the decision was made to have parents pay for sports is when parents got the right to call the shots.

Yet these same sensors are used successfully in other HS and College programs.

His fate was sealed when he allowed a group of self-important parents to infiltrate his running of the the program. These same parents are now demanding his “immediate reinstatement”. Wow…those folks certainly think very highly of themselves. Everyone wants safety, but these sensors would be a nightmare. Any kid who got his bell rung would be sitting on the bench for the rest of the year, with coaches terrified of putting them back in and risking reinjury. These same parents would then be suing the school. No way to run a football program. Let your kids play a less physical sport and when they do so, sit in the stands and act like adults.

Unsure if it’s bad reporting or what but I don’t understand McGrath’s number 2 safety issue? Resting JV football players? Only 11 players play at any given time and since he’s the coach, he’s in charge of who plays and for how long….And why only JV, why not Freshman? Varsity?
His first issue is based on size of school, thought LV played in division 4?
Any coach worried about who they play probably shouldn’t be coaching.

Just another example of parents hovering over their children at every turn. Without the parental involvement the coach would still have his job. What ever happened to the parents showing up a games and maybe providing a meal afterwards. You are embarrassing your kids.

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