Football: Wootton Coach Tyree Spinner resigns, but ‘not by choice’

Just three months after his team completed a turnaround season, Wootton football coach Tyree Spinner has resigned after two years at the Rockville school.

Spinner, 31, said he stepped down “not by choice,” after being informed by Wootton Principal Dr. Michael Doran and Athletic Director Chris Thompson that the school was looking to make a change.

“I’m still in shock to be completely honest. I guess it really hasn’t sunk in,” Spinner said. “They just thought it was better to go a different way, a different direction.”

Doran confirmed via email that Spinner had resigned but he and Thompson did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Thursday.

The Patriots went 5-5 in 2013, narrowly missing the Maryland 4A playoffs. It was the first year Wootton finished without a losing record since 2008. Spinner finished his two-year stint with a 9-11 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in Montgomery County 4A South play.

With a high-octane passing attack, the Patriots increased their scoring average from 19.5 points per game in 2012 to 26.5 last fall and had two of the area’s top four receivers in yardage in sophomore Trevon Diggs (1,103 yards) and senior Jibri Woods (1,007). Junior Sam Ellis was the area’s fourth-leading passer with 2,886 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Spinner does not work at Wootton, and none of his football coaching staff members are employed there. None of the staff members resigned with Spinner Wednesday, he said, but he indicated that they would be moving on with him to find new coaching opportunities at another school.

“If I know the staff as well as I think I do,” Spinner said, “I’m pretty sure they’re not going to coach where I wasn’t wanted.”

Spinner marks the third Montgomery County football coach to resign over the past week. Walter Johnson’s Jon Kadi stepped down after five seasons late last week, as did Magruder Coach Kevin Bernot after two seasons at the Rockville school.

The news of Spinner’s resignation left some of his players stunned, junior defensive back Grant Ibeh said. Ibeh said he and his teammates were informed of the decision by Thompson.

“I was really in shock, like I almost felt like I was going to break down to my knees, because I had such a bond with [Spinner],” said Ibeh, who added that he plans to remain at the school next year. “Nobody has told us why he got fired.”

A Twitter account called @getspinnerback was created on Thursday and had amassed more than 30 followers.

Spinner, a former Paul VI standout who went on to play at the University of Virginia, Richmond and Morgan State, previously served as a youth football coach in the area and as an assistant at West Potomac before joining Wootton’s staff in 2011. Spinner will continue to look for coaching opportunities in the area, he said.

“I’m looking for a home, and I have a very talented and capable coaching staff, as well as some five-star athletes that are following,” he said.

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