Longtime Central High School football coach resigns

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Longtime Central High School football coach Joel Helton has resigned following accusations of improper behavior towards students.

Helton had coached at Central since 1984.

Helton was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 5 following an investigation into allegations of misconduct that included intimidating students and hit players during team workouts.

Helton has admitted that he committed those actions, but maintains he did so in a joking manner.

According to Helton's attorney, he has no plans to seek another coaching position in Knoxville and will instead accept a teaching position at Farragut High School.

Attorney James A.H. Bell had this response to a letter of reprimand in Helton's file: "Coach Helton has resigned as head football coach at Central High School and has no plans to accept any coaching position in the Knox County School system.

"Coach Helton has also accepted a transfer to Farragut High School where he will continue to teach and prepare students for their future."


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  • by Moose Location: Knoxville on Feb 7, 2011 at 08:51 PM
    I want to say to Coach Helton, "I actually learned something in your class". You were the kind of taecher who made me learn. I paid attention in your class. You will be missed greatly at Central! YOU WERE CENTRAL FOOTBALL!! I only regret my son won't get a chance to be coached by you! We will be re-zoning him to Halls! NO HELTON-NO CENTRAL! Plain and simple! c/o 97'
  • by Cactus Location: Oak Ridge on Feb 6, 2011 at 09:55 AM
    Coach Helton was a great coach and a great competitor, we here at Oak Ridge enjoyed competing against him and we had some great games with Central under Coach Helton. From what I understand, Coach Helton did nothing wrong, higher ups in Knoxville Schools used this incident to push him out. Politics, pure and simple.
  • by Jason Location: knoxvile on Feb 5, 2011 at 07:12 PM
    Great coach and role model,thanks for your influence in my life coach. Class of 1987
  • by Seth on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:02 PM
    Ron, Coach Helton (I was one of his students) did not let anyone down. Nor did he ever let any student or football player down. What exactly did he get away with? If he is guilty of anything it is caring too much and getting involved in students/players lives outside of the classroom. It is not Coach Helton who has let us down - it is the school system. This just brings to light one of the problems in the school system today- politics. He wasn't liked by some because he didn't do what the administration or the majority thought he should do; He did what he thought was best for the students. This is a letdown of the education system which has bigger issues facing it. They need to worry about what is best for students and innovating the school system for globalization and STEM instead of a teacher who might have said the wrong thing to ONE student.
  • by shane hill Location: knoxville on Feb 4, 2011 at 10:09 PM
    Really? Coach helton your methods were great. You taught us to be tough and you were always there for the team. You put your health at risk to help us become the toughest and best we could be. I spent 4 years under helton and he had a tough love approach but this is bull. He was a great coach.
  • by Cory on Feb 4, 2011 at 08:04 PM
    Wow Ron, I have no idea what you're talking about, but from the looks of it, neither do you. As a former CHS player under Coach Helton, this is an absolute outrage. He is a great coach, leader, and teacher. One student gets upset because his class is challenging (one of the few remaining challenging courses in high school) and makes bogus accusations. Grow up and start taking some of the blame yourself, instead of constantly looking to punish others for any adversity you may encounter in your life.
  • by Jim Location: Campbell County on Feb 4, 2011 at 06:47 PM
    Joel Helton is a long time well respected coach that has lived and grown up in the good old days of the 60's and 70's. As a college student at Cumberland College in Williamsburg Ky. he was well known and liked in the Northern Campbell County area by many fellow CC students. No doubt in my mind that his actions were nothing monumental or abusive, but just something some bleeding heart liberal parent that didn't get good old values and supervision like we got growing up is belly aching about. Don't throw Joel out to the wolves just because he is old school.
  • by ron Location: knoxville on Feb 4, 2011 at 05:40 PM
    lets rally around are football student athlets they have been let down by some one they look up too.he moves on .they pick up the peices.he new better got away with to much too long.tell the truth dont surgar it up.

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