High School Sports

First the football coach was out. Now another official is leaving Bay-Waveland.

Bay High head football coach Benji Foreman has stepped down after three years.
Bay High head football coach Benji Foreman has stepped down after three years. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

Changes are afoot in the Bay-Waveland athletic department.

Bay-Waveland School District athletic director Vernon Powell told the Sun Herald last week that Bay High School’s football coach had been dismissed from his post.

News that Benji Foreman was out after two years as head football coach caused an uproar among his players and other students at the school, prompting a campaign among those students to have him reinstated.

On Friday, the Sun Herald discovered that Powell’s resignation was on the agenda for Monday’s regularly planned meeting of the Bay-Waveland School Board.

Neither Powell, Foreman or school district superintendent Vikki Landry immediately returned calls on Friday requesting comment on the development.

The Sun Herald reported Thursday that it had received a large envelope containing 64 anonymous letters written by students in support of Foreman.

Vernon Powell
Bay High athletic director Vernon Powell

The Sun Herald reached out to Powell Thursday to see if he was aware of the students’ campaign on behalf of Foreman, but he directed all questions to the school district office.

Powell confirmed Foreman’s firing as football coach on March 1, saying “We have decided as a school district to go in a different direction.”

Foreman said he informed his players that he would not return as football coach for the 2018 season not long after the report.

The letters written in support of Foreman praised the coach for the relationships he has built with students at the school.

“He has done nothing but love and respect every person he talks to,” one letter said. “He is exactly the type of man I want to grow up and be.”

Foreman is 2-18 in two seasons as the Bay High coach and was coming off a 0-10 campaign.

Powell, a Bay High graduate, returned to the Bay-Waveland School District as athletic director in August of 2016. The former St. Stanislaus football coach and athletic director had been retired from teaching for four years at the time.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee