Complaint dropped against Northwest High School football coach

The complaint for assault filed against Northwest High School Head Football Coach Travis Hawkins was dropped last week, FOX 5 has confirmed.

A Maryland online case database search still shows the complaint for second-degree assault pending for Northwest High School's volunteer assistant coach, Justin Watson.

With the complaint against Hawkins now dropped, more parents are speaking up on the matter, telling FOX 5 they want their head coach back.

"I think the players have really … This hit them kind of hard because Hawkins has done a lot for them and he speaks to them not just as players but as young men," said Paul Rivers, whose son is a varsity NWHS football captain.

RELATED: Northwest-Gaithersburg football fight: Coaches, athletic specialist let go

FOX 5 learned a private complaint for a second-degree assault charge was filed by Gaithersburg Athletic Director William Gant after fighting erupted toward the end of a Sept. 16th football game between both schools.

According to court documents, the Gaithersburg AD claimed he was, "struck in the head and shoulder from the side by another person," while trying to break up the fighting.

The altercation had started on the field between two payers. Off the field, Gaithersburg Police made arrests after separate fighting broke out in the high school’s parking area.

In the weeks since, all three men involved were let go by MCPS, which also changed Friday football game security policy.

Travis Hawkins (Photo via @1birdeyeview on Instagram)

The school district has not confirmed whether any of the men involved resigned or were fired, citing personnel privacy reasons. Coach Hawkins told FOX 5 at the time, he was terminated.

Video posted to social media showing the on-field fighting, does appear to show the Gaithersburg AD struck – but not by Hawkins, according to those who support the head coach.

Supporters tell FOX 5 on and off the record, they believe Hawkins was trying to break up the melee and that it was the Gaithersburg AD who had placed his hand on Hawkins first before Hawkins swatted it away. 

While the video appears to show a hand placed toward Hawkins' neck area – FOX 5 has not been able to confirm the exact details with the head coach.

Northwest parents FOX 5 spoke to said they do not believe MCPS handled the investigation properly.

"What I wanted to know is what is the proper defense when someone puts their hands on you. I really didn’t see or hear an answer to that. I get a suspension or a forfeit. But to lose the job – to not be able to work in MCPS, I thought that was a bit harsh," Rivers said. 

He also mentioned that the incident may not have happened if MCPS had the proper number of referees at the game.

Allison Gengarella's son is also a captain on the NWHS football team. 

"I don’t feel like they really took into consideration his character, who he is, how much he’s helped with the kids, what he’s done. I was never interviewed," Gengarella said. "I don’t know other parents that were. I don’t know what students were. It just seemed it was something that was a quick action done to kind of move things forward."

Gengarella told FOX 5 she and several others were told at a parent meeting that because Hawkins was not a full-time MCPS staffer, he is not able to appeal his firing.

FOX 5 asked MCPS to confirm this. While MCPS is looking into some of our other questions, we were also immediately told via email, "any further comment would be a violation of personnel guidelines concerning privacy."

An MCPS Spokesperson did make sure to note the school system did not file charges against any of the men involved.

Among other questions asked of MCPS is whether Gaithersburg's former AD, Gant, is still employed by MCPS and moved elsewhere.

FOX 5 was not able to reach Gant by phone on Monday for comment.

Hawkins told FOX 5 he is not able to comment after the complaint was dropped. He broke his silence on Twitter before his firing was announced.