Austin East fires head coach Robert Gillard

Gillard had just completed his second season as the head coach of the Austin East Roadrunners

Robert Gillard (WVLT)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- According to his personnel file Robert Gillard took several students to Middle Tennessee State University on a recruiting visit, dropped them off and left them there.

News of the trip and the lack of supervision made its way to Austin East's athletics director and assistant principal Alvin Armistead, who brought the matter to the principal.

When the three men met to discuss the incident Robert Gillard was relieved of his duties as head football coach then told Armistead "I'm gonna take care of you." Gillard was then escorted off school property.

Gillard took over the program two years ago when head coach Kwayu Graham left for a position in North Carolina.

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  • by Blondie Location: Knox on Feb 10, 2012 at 11:26 PM
    Come on Channel 8. Ask Mr. Alvin did he know about this trip that turned into a non school trip once the official paper work could not be turned in due the person that handles the paper work was not a work. So yes the AD of Austin East knew about this trip that the Coach and Mr Nolan decided to make it a personal trip for the kids.So get the story correct. No one was paid or reimbused for the personl trip. This happen in Oct. 2011 and Alvin Armstead knew about it. So go ask him why 3 months later he used it against the Coach.
  • by Natalie Location: Knoxville on Jan 24, 2012 at 06:08 PM
    This is an unfortunate situation because Austin East has lost someone who truly cared about the children. Coach Gillard is one of the most caring staff members at AE. He goes above and beyond the call of duty for the children there. This appears to be a hasty decision as well as a bad choice by the AE administrators. These two young men ARE frat brothers and they do have a relationship outside of the school compounds.This should have and very well could have been handled differently and not involved so many students or young lifes that Coach Gillard has touched in a positive manner. AE needs a positive role model because speaking from being in the school setting there arent that many hanging around AE
  • by Roy Location: Knoxville on Jan 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM
    Makes sense. Coach Gillard actually cares about the students while others took every step to ensure their own bonuses for meeting goals. Someone who caresa about the students vs. those who see the students as $$$. YOU make the call.


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