New Hire Not Cleared to Be Winter Haven's Volleyball Coach
Tue. September 18, 2012 at 11:26 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
By SOLANGE REYNER
LAKELAND | Derrick Bennett, who was hired as Winter Haven's head volleyball coach to replace Tonya Wooten last week, cannot coach because he has not been cleared by the School Board, Polk County Athletic Director Don Bridges said.
Bridges said Tuesday afternoon that investigators are looking into some issues regarding Bennett. Bridges would not divulge the issues but said that when he knows more, he will relay it to Winter Haven's administration.
"That's about all I can tell you at this time," Bridges said.
Bennett was hired Sept. 12 after Wooten, who had been the head coach for seven years, was fired for violating School Board policies by allowing some of her players to drive other players in their cars to team events. Her dismissal came on the heels of another incident in which assistant coach Ty Ellis posted a picture of the players on the team wearing hoodies and words that supported the slain black teenager Trayvon Martin, who was fatally shot in an altercation with neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman in Sanford earlier this year.
Ellis was fired three weeks ago.
Randy White is the interim coach while Winter Haven waits to hear back from the district.
"(Bennett) will not be coaching until I get further instruction," Winter Haven athletic director Steve Beasley said.