First-year Turner boys basketball coach Darin Gammill has been placed on administrative leave for alleged "inappropriate conduct" regarding student athletes.
Turner Schools Superintendent Leslie Christian said that the school is currently completing an investigation into Gammill's alleged improprieties, which were not specified.
"Because this is a confidential personnel matter, I cannot comment any further," Christian said. "We will be taking appropriate action based on the results of the investigation."
Turner High School principal Burl Solie had no comment when contacted on Tuesday. Attempts to reach Gammill by phone were unsuccessful.
Three separate dismissals in the last nine years shed some light on Gammill's background.
In February 2009, the Chickasha News Star reported that while at Alex High School, Gammill was suspended from his duties as first-year girls basketball coach based on complaints received from a parent. The Blanchard Police Department also investigated an incident involving Gammill at approximately the same time the school was contacted.
In May of 2004, The Oklahoman reported that Gammill was fired for alleged misconduct with female students while serving as boys coach at Newcastle High School. According to the news report, Gammill was suspended with pay in April of 2004, after allegations of attending a private student party where alcohol was present.
At the time of his firing in 2004, Gammill said he did not intend to pursue any other teaching or coaching positions. No formal charges have been filed against Gammill in the past.
His last recorded position before joining Turner was as boys basketball coach at Tulsa Nathan Hale for two seasons (2009-11). A written recommendation by the Tulsa Superintendent for Gammill's dismissal was received by Tulsa Public Schools on Sept. 17, 2012.
On Tuesday, Tulsa Nathan Hale Athletic Director Tony Peters confirmed that Gammill was relieved of his basketball duties at the conclusion of the 2010-11 school year. Peters clarified that the dismissal was not conduct based, but part of a regime change. Gammill stayed on as a teacher at Nathan Hale through the 2011-12 school year.
According to Christian, the Turner School Board approved Solie's recommendation "to take action to hire a high school science teacher (Gammill) with coaching duties," at the June 28, 2012, board meeting.
Christian's resignation as Turner Superintendent was on the agenda for Wednesday's board meeting, but she said Tuesday that her impending departure had nothing to do with the school's investigation of Gammill. Her current contract is a 1-year deal that expires June 30.
She said that this is simply the time that contracts are typically looked at for the upcoming year.
"My resignation has absolutely no connection," Christian said. "It just seems things are going on at the same time."
Solie said that no action on Gammill would be determined until after Jan. 28. Turner has a special board meeting scheduled on Jan. 25.
Gammill, who is also a high school science teacher, has coached the Turner boys to a 4-11 record this season. He did not coach the Falcons at a festival in Lawton last weekend.
Erik K. Horne