CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former Kanawha County Schools football coach, who has also coached at the college level, wants to volunteer at George Washington High this year, but says the board of education won't allow it -- and he's looking for answers.
Scott Tinsley, who coached football at Nitro High for more than a decade and gained national attention with his success, left the school district in 2008 to take the head coach position at West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
WVU Tech dropped its football program in 2011, and Tinsley now coaches the college's golf team. Tinsley was also the head football coach at West Virginia State University.
Tinsley was spotted at a GW football event in June and after local media reported on his return to the gridiron, he was told he could no longer volunteer.
"There was an article in the paper, and the principal was told that I couldn't volunteer. We weren't given any reasons," Tinsley said. "No one has ever said to me, 'This is why you can't.' There are rumors but no one has ever said officially why."
"I don't even want to be paid...I have a job. But I like football. I just want to volunteer and help these kids," he said.
Tinsley stood before the Kanawha County school board last Thursday, with a petition signed by members of the GW community and 15 letters written by his supporters.
He listed the rumors swirling for the reason he's not allowed to volunteer, but said he thinks he's "ruffled some feathers."
"I've lost your respect," he told the board. "What I'm asking of you all is for an opportunity to regain your respect. I'm asking for a chance to work hard with these kids."
School board president Pete Thaw said "there is contention on the board about Mr. Tinsley," but did not comment further.
In one of the letters Tinsley submitted to the board, his ex-wife pins the blame on school board member Jim Crawford, saying he is "using his seat on the school board as a personal vendetta position."
In the letter, Gina Tinsley says Crawford had made negative remarks about Scott Tinsley since the 1990s, and has questioned her about his child-support payments and education.