Supporters puts pressure on DPS after boys basketball coach Peter Pullen not retained

Community puts pressure on DPS after boys basketball coach Peter Pullen not retained (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - One of Ohio's most successful basketball coaches is out of a job, while the community is pressuring the school district to get his job back.

Peter Pullen talked exclusively with FOX 45 last week, after Dayton Public Schools told him they hired someone to take over his job.

Pullen said he feels it was part of a vendetta relating to an incident at a Dunbar/Belmont high school football game in 2016.

Pullen was the school athletic director and boys basketball coach at the time of the incident, after which Dayton Public Schools was investigated for allegations Dunbar students were told to lose the game on purpose so an ineligible player would not have to be reported, a decision Pullen and other present have mainteined Pullen had no part in.

Supporters at Tuesday's school board review session said what the school district did regarding Pullen's employment was unprofessional and unfair.

"The way it's looking and the allegations that's been going on I think it has to do with-- a little bit personal," said Brittney Weaver.

Weaver played basketball at Dunbar in the early 2000's when Pullen was still the girls basketball coach.

She said she owes her college scholarship to Pullen's coaching on and off the court.

"He could have left and went to a D1 school, but he didn't want to, he was loyal, he couldn't hide that Wolverine pride because he loves Dunbar, the youth of Dunbar," Weaver said.

Weaver was one supporter along with other former players, and current Dunbar coaches, silently showing their solidarity and support for Pullen at Tuesday's meeting.

"I think it's very unfair and I think it's just not right so I'm just here to support him," Weaver said.

In an exclusive interview with Pullen last week, Pullen said he was asked to interview for his job as boys basketball coach for the first time since he was hired for it 13 years ago.

The district, "Told me that they wouldn't retain me that they were going in another direction," Pullen said in an interview with FOX 45.

"She also said because of my lack of not a good communicator with college coaches," Pullen continued, "Her reasoning never did sit well with me on that."

"Right now it's a lot of he said she said. Like where's the evidence?" Weaver said.

Pullen's program at Dunbar has sent 2 players to the NBA, and numerous others to Division 1 schools on scholarships.

He has an 81 percent win record and multiple state titles for the school.

"We just really want them to reconsider their decision because he's a true legendary coach, a hall of famer and he's done so much for our community," Weaver said.

Others involved in the Dunbar/Belmont football incident have maintained the call to throw the game came from district athletic director Mark Baker, who left Tuesday's meeting before FOX 45 could ask questions.

Pullen's supporters said they plan to go to the next school board meeting when the basketball coaching position is expected to come up.

"I think it's not professional I think it's very wrong because they're not thinking about the kids that do come to Dunbar because of the legacy," Weaver said.

Pullen said he was reprimanded by the district in relation to hosting a summer shootout tournament, that he says he has hosted for 12 years.

He said that reprimand is what lost him points in the interview process.

When FOX 45 asked Dayton Public Schools for a comment on the supporters at the meeting, they pointed to their hiring policies.

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