The Pine Tree Independent School District school board accepted the resignation of athletic director and head football coach Derek Fitzhenry on Friday afternoon during a special meeting called to discuss Fitzhenry's status with the district. Fitzhenry willl receive a separation check for $39,000.
Fitzhenry has been at the center of much conflict at the district in the past few months. He was placed on administrative leave in September after an incident at a Pine Tree football game where Fitzhenry allegedly had a physical altercation with a student.
The athletic director was brought back into the spotlight again in October after the district said he changed the student athletic handbook without their approval. KLTV 7 confirmed it was Fitzhenry who made changes to the Student Athletic Handbook.
However, Fitzhenry says that policy was changed in April 2013, a month before a May incident involving a Pine Tree ISD football player who was charged with the sexual assault of a juvenile female. The changes affect how students charged with felonies are handled by the school.
Fitzhenry says when the athletics policy was changed in April, the online version was not updated. He says this clerical error, in part, can be attributed to him spending the majority of the summer hiring coaches and then spending the beginning of the school year on administrative leave.
On Friday at 2:10 p.m., Fitzhenry tweeted "Good luck to the Pirates. Beat the hell out of Hallsville!!!" from his Twitter account, @PTcoachFitz5.
Fitzhenry left the Class 3A Gidding Buffaloes for Pine Tree in 2011, after 8 seasons and a 73-23 record. He was hired by Pine Tree in March 2011. Coach Derrick Hennick, Pine Tree's offensive coordinator, has been named the interim coach and will coach Friday night's game against Hallsville.
322 Shipyard Boulevard