Suspended Coach Claims Innocence

1-27-04 - A Bryan County coach who was suspended by the state of Oklahoma from coaching for the year claims he’s innocent. In an exclusive interview with KXII, Vernon Johnson says he has never recruited a player in his 17 years as a high school coach. But the OSSAA suspended him the season for four separate recruiting charges, which centered around the recruitment of a female player from nearby Rock Creek last fall. The accusations came in Johnson’s 1st season with Achille, and when the team was 10-2. But the teenager later admitted in a court document that she had lied about the accusation. The OSSAA refused Johnson’s appeal and last week, a Bryan County judge denied his request for a temporary injunction against the suspension. Even though playoffs are around the corner, Johnson says he will fight the suspension until it expires in June. Tara Satterfield, a former player and assistant coach for Johnson, has now taken over for the team as acting head coach. She too thinks her boss is innocent. Johnson is still teaching 7th and 8th grade science in Achille.