Ringling Residents Take Action Against Head Coach, State Department of Education Responds

News 9 - February 21, 2023 6:57 am

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An investigation into abuse allegations against the Ringling High School principal and head football coach, Philip Koons, expands.

The Ringling Police Department turned all information over to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, but it didn’t stop there. An attorney now representing multiple John Doe’s is putting together a federal complaint against Philip Koons.

“A coach should be looked up to as a role model and with all of these allegations and the community bringing him in here you can’t look up to him as a role model,” said Justin Stephens, a Ringling parent.

They said the head football coach and high school principal has been verbally abusing players and using racial slurs.

These claims were addressed during the last school board meeting before the board voted to keep him on staff.

“You have all of these parents that are coming to you and telling you these things, how are you not concerned about your students and what is going on,” said parent Heather Stephens.

Cameron Spradling and Tod Mercer, Attorneys now representing several Ringing victims sent News 9 a statement saying, “We are preparing a Complaint to be filed in Federal Court in Oklahoma City. We are delayed in that process because more victims are coming forth on a daily basis. These victims are cooperating with the OSBI and the OSDE. We strongly urge that if you have witnessed or suspected abuse of students or athletes by Coach Koons at Tuttle, Clinton, Marlow or Ringling that you immediately communicate with the OSBI at 1-800-522-8017. The duty to report is a legal, moral and ethical responsibility.”

News 9 obtained victim statements, four John Does said, “Koons made everyone do up downs naked in the turf locker room” some players sustaining “burns on their private parts.”

Another statement claims when angry, “Koons jumps up and down holding his private parts” cursing at players.

“I mean it was quiet, the boys were very quiet about it going on, but we did hear of things going on in the locker room and things like that,” said Jennifer Stoker, another parent.

Several of them recalled incidents where they say the coach “used racial slurs about players and refs.” They said the coach named plays derogatory terms and made “monkey noises.”

One John Doe said the coach uses homophobic slurs if he feels they aren’t playing good enough and “makes us feel ashamed or scared to tell.”

“I was concerned for the boys, and I know they need to be ‘tough men’ but it’s too much,” said Stoker.

We reached out to The State Department of Education which said, “We are in communication with the investigators and are closely tracking the progress of their investigation. We are at this time prepared to take swift and decisive action in the matter.”

We have reached out to Philip Koons about the allegations multiple times and have not heard back.

 

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