The resignation of Buffalo head football coach Pat Lynch was anything but simple.
But in the aftermath, Johnson County School District 1 superintendent Dr. Rod Kessler was supportive of Lynch and the efforts to repair his reputation.
“[Lynch] screwed up, he screwed up big time,” Kessler said. “The coaching, we didn’t want that to be the issue anymore. We wanted him to have his priority back where it was as a counselor.
“None of us are happy that it happened. It’s a black eye to the district. And it’s a black eye to Pat.”
Lynch handed out an offensive survey, titled “Hurt Feelings Report,” that included sexist and anti-gay rhetoric before Buffalo’s first-round playoff game at Afton. Lynch did not coach in either of the team’s playoff games, and the school board accepted his resignation as head football coach and weight room supervisor on Monday in a special session.
The board did, however, allow Lynch to continue in his position of guidance counselor at Buffalo High School, under administrative supervision.
“We’re going to work with Pat and have him continue doing the good things he was doing prior to this mistake,” Kessler said. “Our hope is that we can mend things we need to mend and gain back the trust and get the reputation that he needs to gain back as a professional.”
Lynch has been the head coach at Buffalo for the past 13-plus seasons and has coached the Bison to two state titles (2004 and ‘05). He led the Bison to a 12th consecutive playoff appearance before his removal as head coach.
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Voicemail messages and other attempts to reach Lynch by phone have been unsuccessful.
Kessler said had Buffalo advanced to Friday’s Class 3A state championship game — the Bison lost to Douglas 20-14 — the decision would have been managed the same way. The district does renew contracts on a yearly basis, and Kessler said they would wait until the spring time to discuss Lynch’s long-term status.
“I’d be lying to you if I told it didn’t impact who he is as a person and as a professional,” Kessler said. “Will that make our decision today about that? No. I think ... we’ve got to get to the end of year and see how things are.
“You do that with any employee. I’d rather not pass judgment at this point and time.”
Wayne Jensen, whose elder son, Jace, was a senior standout at Buffalo last year and whose sophomore son, Kye, is on the football team, said Lynch should have apologized to the players — not the school board.
“Everybody should be accountable for their actions,” Jensen said. “He came out with a letter and apologized to the school board.
“Well, I never heard one mention of the kids.”
There was some public outcry when it was announced Lynch would remain in his counseling position at the school. But the board is committed to standing behind Lynch.
“He made a bad mistake and he’s paid for it, and he’s got an uphill battle to work with right now,” Kessler said. “He’s got our support, and we’re going to try and make it.
“There are people that are, of course, very unhappy and would like us to do more. And there’s people that thought it was about right.”
Contact sports reporter Clint Robus at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-266-0615.
Follow him on Twitter @ClintRobus.
"None of us are happy that it happened. It's a black eye to the district. And it's a black eye to Pat."