Dozens show up to support Du Quoin athletic director, football coach at special school board meeting

A special school board meeting in Du Quoin has the high school's football coach at the center of attention
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 10:13 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2023 at 11:20 AM CST
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DU QUOIN, Ill. (KFVS) - A special school board meeting was held in Du Quoin Thursday evening, February 9 with the high school’s athletic director and football coach at the center of attention.

Plenty of people were in attendance at the meeting, although none of them are exactly sure why this meeting was called in regards to Derek Beard’s job.

The superintendent and school board remained tight-lipped about the reason for the closed door meeting.

More than 50 people showed up in support of Coach Derek Beard.

He began his coaching career in DuQuoin in 2005 as a volunteer. He then stayed as a volunteer until he became the head coach 14 years later.

Many voiced their opinion on why he should continue to be in the athletic director and football coach role.

From former coaches, to players, even some faculty from the high school, all of them showed up to say that Coach Beard deserves to keep his job, including former player Reese Rodely, who believed that with as many people behind Coach Beard as there were, he thinks the board would still support him.

“I think it’s huge and, honestly, if I were on the board and that show of support would definitely sway me to support him as well. If there’s this many people in this many different positions to show up to support the guy he has to be doing something right,” Rodely said.

Beard has been the athletic director since the 2018-19 school year and the football coach since 2019.

The school board met behind closed doors since 6:53 p.m.

At 10:15 the board announced that no decision will be made at that time.