Students take a stand in Canton coach controversy

CANTON, OH (WOIO) - Students are taking a stand for their coach, who is now without a job. They want him back on the sidelines, but are they barking up the wrong tree?

Football is to Canton as apple pie is to America, so when Canton McKinley High School head coach Ron Johnson's contract was not renewed, it sparked a ripple effect far beyond the football field.

According to those who oppose the departure of Coach Johnson, the Canton City School Board of Education dismissed the coach without good reason. Under Coach Johnson, Canton McKinley had 31 wins, 16 losses over four season. His team has been to the playoffs four times, and on Ohio's "All Academic List" four years running.

Players are protesting. They sat as a united front for Coach Johnson at Monday night's city council meeting.

Although players have no power to trump the school board's decision, they were able to vent and support the coach the call "Ron Jon."

"He's a teacher to us, and even more, a father to most of us on the team," said student athlete Christopher Daniels. "He's been teaching us, taking us and molding us into these academic young men."

"They say it's for the kids," said student athlete Skyler Parks. "But the kids have spoken, and we're not heard."

The Canton School Board voted 3 to 2 not to renew Johnson's contract. Supposedly, because of "lack of community outreach."

The team signed a petition last week to get Coach Johnson back on the field.

A Facebook page to keep Ron Johnson at Canton McKinley has also been set up.

Copyright 2012 WOIO. All rights reserved.