Players protest firing of Coolidge Senior High School basketball coach

FOX 5 Chief Investigative Reporter Emily Miller spoke with Vaughn Jones in an interview you will only see on FOX 5.

- Parents and students in the District are demanding answers after a popular high school basketball coach was fired on Halloween.

Vaughn Jones has been a coach for 17 years, including the last nine years at Coolidge Senior High School.

The high school basketball season has just started in the area, but Jones’ firing has left the team unable to practice. Now, the players and their parents are furious and they went to City Hall on Wednesday to protest as well as seek Jones' reinstatement.

We asked D.C. Public Schools for information on why Jones was fired, but they say they do not comment on personnel manners.

FOX 5 spoke with Jones on allegations that he made changes to a player’s record.

“That’s definitely false,” he said. “I don’t have access to that information. I feel like my name is tarnished and slandered and so that’s disheartening for me because for my record, all I've done is help kids.”

Jones played locally in the D.C. area at DeMatha Catholic High School and at George Washington University in the 90s.

“Anyone can play basketball, but my passion is for the kids that I've been working with, and I have seven seniors who are dependent upon me to help them get to college,” said Jones.

Jones said he loves Coolidge and he feels like he is a big part of the community here.

“My coaches and I protect our kids fiercely,” said Jones. “We don’t allow outsiders in and I think we do a great job of teaching them life skills as well. It’s not just about basketball, but it’s life skills.”

Jones said he is committed to his players at Coolidge, and for him, being in the coaching profession is not about money.

“You get $2,000 to coach,” he said. “That’s not money, so I am clearly not doing this for money because if that were the case, I could have accepted a college position and I turned down several high schools’ private positions that paid way more.”

Jones added, "I have a firm belief in God and I think God will vindicate me. Whether it’s reinstatement or not, I still feel like my purpose in life is to help kids."

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