Personnel file shows Ribault coach resigned from teaching position

Questions remain after Kelvin Smith removed as Trojans' head coach

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A personnel file obtained Monday shows the head coach at Ribault High School asked to resign from his teaching position last month but wished to continue coaching.

The documents don't shed any light on the Duval County Public Schools investigation into Kelvin Smith. On Saturday, News4Jax learned the Trojans head coach was removed from his position.

"I would like to continue as the head Football Coach to build on the tradition of Scholar Athletes at Jean Ribault High School," Smith wrote in the resignation letter dated July 16.

Ribault High School football players returned to class Monday, and the Trojans are scheduled to play their first game Thursday.

The school district has confirmed the investigation, but it will not give any details. Pakethia McDaniel, the school's athletic director, was reassigned to a middle school, although it's unclear why.

ICYMI: Ribault head football coach removed from job, interim coach named

Sianni Stephens, a former student, said she was surprised to hear the news about the head coach.

"It's shocking," Stephens said. "He was a nice coach, a nice teacher. Always friendly. Never had any problems with him. I had friends on the football team who never had any problems with him."

Players were told Lin Shell, the assistant coach, would assume the interim role, but many have been asking with Smith was removed from his position.

"We don't know what's going on," said Nequella Kerson, a parent. "It could be many things. I just don't like the part that they are keeping a secret from the parents."

Kimberly Sharpe, a parent, was also upset.

"It's a loss. Pretty hurt. Wish it could have been differently, handled differently," Sharpe said. "Our boys are devastated because he has mentored them. He has been there for them and been someone they can talk to beyond the field."

Smith was a longtime Ribault High assistant before his promotion in December 2015. There has been some controversy, however.

A year ago, football equipment wasn't delivered to the high school on time. The equipment company, Riddell, said it had not been paid $14,387 from a 2017 apparel purchase. Riddell said the school district was working to resolve the issue.

Smith told News4Jax his attorney has advised him not to speak on the matter, but said he misses the students.

Another notable part of Smith's file was an arrest in 2000 for writing a bad check, for which he was reprimanded.

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