South Fort Myers HS coach fired after sex scandal fallout

Reporter: Corey Lazar
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The head football coach at South Fort Myers High School has been fired, according to the Lee County school officials.

Anthony Dixon was relieved of his duties following an investigation into a sex scandal involving a teenage girl and several boys in a school bathroom back in May. The investigation ended after three months. Dixon has been involved with the football program at South Fort Myers High School for 18 years and had been training the team all summer ahead of a preseason game on Friday.

South Fort Myers Athletic Director Don Payne said the school’s defensive coordinator, Matthew Holderfield, will carry the team as the interim head coach. Assistant coach Nathan O’Jibway was also fired, but according to The News-Press, he will remain as a physical education teacher.

The district didn’t give a specific reason for the moves. Dixon told WINK News he was caught off guard but declined further comment.

He wasn’t alone in his surprise, with just a week and a half to go before the regular season opener on Aug. 26 at home against Island Coast. Senior defensive end Ethan McDaniel said the international scrutiny from the sex scandal helped build the team.

“All that stuff that’s happened has made us closer. We all know what happened. The past is the past. Focus on the future,” he said. “After everything, the leadership has really stepped up. It’s been big. I’m sad, but I appreciate them stepping up.”

Five students were suspended, 11 others disciplined and 16-year-old William Scott arrested for their roles in the incident. Still, others believe blame should lay elsewhere.

“To fire coaches over something that in my opinion is the actual administration’s responsibility is kind of ridiculous,” said Chris Anderson, the father of a student.

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