TUESDAY 11/23/21 4:05 p.m.
CLEARFIELD, Utah (ABC4) – After nearly a month on administrative leave, Don Eck, the first-year head football coach at Clearfield High School, has been fired by the school district.
In a statement given on Tuesday following the surfacing of a damning report that Eck had left an intimidating voicemail on the phone of one of his former players, the Davis School District noted that Eck’s employment had been terminated that afternoon.
“Mr. Eck was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 25, soon after allegations surfaced regarding his conduct. The district then investigated the situation and concluded that disciplinary action was needed. The district does not condone such behavior from any of its employees,” the statement read.
The Falcon football team finished with a record of 1-10 for the 2021 campaign.
ORIGINAL STORY: Clearfield High football coach placed on administrative leave: report
TUESDAY 11/23/21 7:54 a.m.
CLEARFIELD, Utah (ABC4) – A Davis County educator and football coach has been placed on administrative leave following a voicemail he left with a player, according to a report.
Don Eck, who teaches at Clearfield High School and is in his first year as head coach of the football team, left a voicemail on a player’s phone, the Standard-Examiner reports. That player had recently quit the team after the Clearfield Falcons game at West Jordan in late October.
As the Standard-Examiner reports, the voicemail was posted to and later deleted from a Clearfield football Facebook Page. In the recording, the man identified himself as Coach Eck and accused the player’s mother of posting about the coaches on social media.
“I’m gonna put a stop to that, bro,” Eck is reportedly heard saying in the voicemail. He goes on to tell the player that quitting the team “is the most selfish thing I’ve seen in all my years of athletics.”
Eck played football for the University of Utah in the early 1980s before coaching at the college shortly after graduating. He also coached football in Europe for NFL Europe, spent about a year at Weber State University, and coached with the United Football League in Las Vegas before joining Clearfield High School.
The Standard-Examiner reports Eck was placed on leave in late October.
The Davis School District has confirmed to ABC4 that Eck remains on administrative leave. No additional details were available.
This is just the latest incident within the Davis School District. The district continues to investigate the death of a 10-year-old girl, Izzy Tichenor, who is said to have committed suicide after being bullied while attending Foxboro Elementary School.
In late October, the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with the Davis School District after a report spanning five years accused the district of “persistent failures to respond to reports of race-based harassment of Black and Asian-American students by district staff and other students.”
According to the DOJ, investigators found the Davis School District disciplined Black students more harshly than their white peers for similar behavior and that Black students were denied the ability to form student groups while supporting similar requests by other students. Calling the district’s responses “ineffective,” the DOJ says officials left students vulnerable to continued harassment and that students believed the district condoned the behavior.
The Davis School District has agreed to comply with a sweeping five-year improvement plan. Parents in the district recently spoke with ABC4 about their feelings toward the settlement. Officials recently announced Dr. Jacqueline Thompson, who retired from the district in 2018, will take over the role as assistant superintendent.