From 11-win football season to coaching table tennis: Records detail bizarre reassignment of Canyon HS coach

Coach Joe Lepsis claimed Comal ISD Superintendent Andrew Kim, other district officials “blatantly lied” to the public about his removal as head coach

Comal ISD (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

New Braunfels, Texas – The former head football coach at Canyon High School will remain on the district’s payroll through the end of June but will not appear in person for work as part of a signed resignation agreement between him and Comal Independent School District, records recently obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.

The agreement, which calls for coach Joe Lepsis to remain on “professional leave” from his position as athletic coordinator, caps off a bizarre departure for a coach who led the New Braunfels high school to an 11-win season in 2020.

Lepsis, in multiple grievances filed against the district and released to the Defenders earlier this year, claimed that Comal ISD Superintendent Andrew Kim and other district officials “blatantly lied” to the public about his removal as head coach of the program.

“Mr. Andrew Kim unilaterally and without good cause removed me as Canyon High School Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator,” wrote Lepsis, in a grievance filed in July, contradicting the public narrative that Lepsis had stepped down early last year to pursue other opportunities.

Lepsis wrote in one grievance that he was informed by Kim in late January 2021 that he was being removed as head coach and reassigned elsewhere in the district because the program was going in a different direction.

“The District, through multiple administrators and representatives, has falsely told the media and the community that I resigned. My players and their families believe that I simply quit on them. That is untrue,” wrote Lepsis in a grievance filed last February.

He wrote that Kim’s actions harmed Lepsis’ reputation and career.

Lepsis’ departure from the program came on the heels of an 11-win season and an appearance in the 5A regional semifinals. The program had gone winless the year before.

Canyon’s football team won four games last season, following Lepsis’ departure.

Kim, through a district spokesman, declined to be interviewed for this story or to provide clarification about Lepsis’ employment.

“As there is a settlement agreement between the parties, the District has no comment beyond the terms of the agreement. As such, we will not be conducting any interviews or making any comments, including statements of clarification, about this issue,” spokesman Steve Stanford wrote via email late last month, referring to the resignation agreement signed in late September.

The agreement included letters of recommendation for Lepsis signed by both Kim and the district’s athletic director.

The agreement also releases the district from any work complaints filed by Lepsis and states that all internal communications about his reassignments will be sealed and kept out of his employee personnel file.

Sources familiar with Lepsis’ tenure at the district said he was reassigned to a physical education teaching position at the district’s alternative campus last year and told he would be coaching the district’s fledgling table tennis team.

A district spokeswoman confirmed in late October that the district’s table tennis program was just getting started and had not scheduled any competitions.

The signed resignation agreement states that Lepsis will hold the position of district athletic coordinator until his formal separation at the end of June.

District officials late last year attempted to withhold records related to Lepsis’ grievances against the district but were ordered to release them by the Texas Attorney General’s Office last month.

Lepsis, through his attorney, declined to release a comment for this story.

His attorney confirmed that Lepsis did not coach high school football last season.

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About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.