Dorsey Head Football Coach removed

Dorsey football Coach Paul Knox reacts on the sideline before the opening kickoff against Crenshaw in November 2009. Knox was fired by Dorsey on Tuesday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Dorsey football Coach Paul Knox reacts on the sideline before the opening kickoff against Crenshaw in November 2009. Knox was fired by Dorsey on Tuesday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Dorsey High School has made the news over their beloved football coach being removed as their head coach.  Coach Paul Knox has been on the football coaching staff for 30 years.  The community is in an uproar and many are left wondering what will happen to the program. 

“I’m disappointed,” Knox said to the Los Angeles Times. “I wanted to continue coaching. It’s the principal’s call. He explained what he wanted to do.”  Insiders say Dr. Sample offered Coach Knox to remain on the coaching staff, just not as head coach.

Schools in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), specifically those in District 1, were left without representation after the passing of former school board member Marguerite LaMotte Poindexter.  Eight long months to be exact.  No one was able to fight for funding to address the deficiencies on the campuses.

The Los Angeles Times describes the football program has having issues that are beyond the control of Coach Knox.

Dorsey has faced difficulty in keeping its program among the best in the City Section. A drop in school enrollment, the lack of an all-weather turf field (the team plays at a nearby park), the lack of depth on the offensive line _ those are among the issues the next coach will have to deal with.”

To put in perspective, Crenshaw and Freemont High Schools have brand new football fields that are all-weather while Dorsey does not.  Dorsey students must wonder why they don’t have the same facilities as other LAUSD schools.

Knox, who took over the program in 1985, coached such players as Keyshawn Johnson, Johnathan Franklin, Rahim Moore and Stafon Johnson. He won City titles in 1989, ’91, ’95 and 2001.

Earlier in the year, Stafon Johnson, joined the coaching staff.  Johnson made headlines in 2009 when his larynx was crushed while lifting weights at USC.

Related articleEx-USC back Stafon Johnson returns to Dorsey High as assistant coach

Dorsey Principal Dr. Reginald Sample was quoted as saying “the program has been underperforming and the team isn’t competitive against their rivals.”  Their football record says otherwise.

  • 2014 (6-6-0)
  • 2013 (7-5-0)
  • 2012 (7-5-0)
  • 2011 (11-2-0)
  • 2010 (10-2-0)
  • 2009 (9-4-0)
  • 2008 (7-4-0)
  • 2007 (9-4-0)
  • 2006 (8-4-0)
  • 2005 (10-3-0)
  • 2004 (12-2-0)

A quick review of Dorsey’s API on the California Department of Education’s Accountability Progress Reporting, details how Dorsey High School continues to fail students academically.

High school transfer rules became less restrictive in 2012, and schools and players have taken advantage.

“Long gone are the days of the neighborhood team,” according to St. John Bosco basketball Coach Derrick Taylor.


Related article:  High school transfers turn neighborhood teams into outdated notion

It is unknown how many Dorsey athletes have left the program, in favor of their rival, as a direct result of the academic performance or lack of resources to their sports program.

In urban communities, we tend to pay more attention to sports programs, than academics, and perhaps educating the students should be Dr. Sample’s paramount concern not his football program.

In conclusion, after reviewing Dorsey’s API, football record and the Los Angeles Times articles, it is my opinion that the dismissal of Coach Knox is to simply make Stafon Johnson the new head coach.

Calls to Dr. Sample have not been returned.

One Response so far.

  1. PDQ says:

    Are you sure the stadium is an issue? Don’t they play at Jackie Robinson Stadium in the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex on Rodeo Road? That stadium is pretty nice actually – it has lighting, large grandstands on both sides of the field, artificial turf and ample parking – plus easy access to the Metro Expo station at La Brea.

    Inglewood Blackhawks (minor league professional) use that as their home stadium. They’ve played there in the rain – so “all weather ” isn’t an issue if that is in fact where Dorsey is playing.

    Now, their won/loss record……..THAT’S an issue.

About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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