MEDINA COUNTY – Medina Valley athletic director and head football coach Lee Crisp was promoted to those high-ranking positions in 2019 despite previously failing a state drug screening, records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.
Confirmation of the failed drug test, which was listed among complaints against Crisp brought forward to Medina Valley Independent School District officials in early January, comes weeks after a district spokeswoman called the complaints “rumors or unsubstantiated allegations.”
Crisp, who sources said returned to work earlier this week after being on leave, is accused of erratic behavior in multiple incidents, records obtained by the Defenders show.
A letter submitted to district officials in early January has been signed by more than 50 community members and claims that Crisp has appeared to be intoxicated at multiple school events.
These events include a baseball tournament hosted by Medina Valley in March in which Crisp was accused of saying a woman from a visiting team looked “like a fuc---- who--,” the letter states.
In October, Crisp was accused of refusing to let a varsity football player ride home with the team following a game in Lockhart. The student-athlete was forced to get a ride from the parents of another athlete, the letter states.
Last fall, Crisp was also accused of making fun of the starting quarterback’s lisp in back-to-back practices, in front of other coaches and the teen’s teammates.
Jeremy and Oh Rash, whose son was the target of the alleged bullying, said Crisp’s behavior wrecked their son’s confidence.
“Lee wasn’t there in the mornings when we had to take him before school to speech therapy. He wasn’t there after school when you got to take him to speech therapy,” said Jeremy Rash, who was among a group of parents who spoke out against Crisp during a school board meeting last month.
“It’s hard to hear that your son or child, whatever, is getting essentially bullied at school by somebody that he looks up to,” said Oh Rash.
The January complaint letter also states that Crisp cursed at players days after the Lockhart incident and forced team members to practice longer than allowed by University Interscholastic League rules.
The letter also states that Crisp failed a drug screening early in his employment with Medina Valley ISD.
Reached for comment Jan. 20, Medina Valley ISD spokeswoman Selena Viera told KSAT via email:
“The district has been made aware of allegations against one of its employees. The standard procedure for responding to receipt of these types of allegations is to conduct an investigation to determine whether or not the allegations are supported by persons with firsthand knowledge or by other tangible facts. The district does not comment on rumors or unsubstantiated allegations in order to avoid harming the employee’s reputation. Once any investigation is completed, the administration takes such action as is warranted by the facts found.”
Viera did not respond to repeated emails this week for an update on Crisp’s status or to clarify her previous statement on the matter.
A spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency, which has been made aware of multiple complaints against Crisp, released the following statement earlier this week:
“There is currently no investigatory flag on the educator in question. TEA has received several complaints related to Medina Valley ISD. Those complaints are currently being reviewed to determine what next steps, if any, are necessary.”
‘Obvious nepotism that is allowing this to continue’
Records obtained by the Defenders this week show that district officials were made aware of concerns about Crisp as far back as August.
A letter delivered to a school board member that month stated the athletic director was drinking during school hours and putting students’ safety at risk. A source said no action was taken, however.
Multiple sources said last fall, several athletic department staff members also detailed concerns about Crisp to Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Rohrbach, who declined to take action.
“If that is true, you have killed this community,” said one parent during January’s board meeting.
“Obvious nepotism that is allowing this to continue,” Jeremy Rash said during the same meeting.
Sources said Crisp was allowed to return to work this week even though Rohrbach failed to interview some people listed as potential witnesses in the January letter.
Crisp, who did not respond to a phone call seeking comment for this story, applied for the athletic director and head football coach positions in May 2019, according to a copy of his application obtained by the Defenders.
An attorney representing the district attempted to block the release of the paperwork this week, stating in an objection sent to the Texas Attorney General’s Office that the records may be confidential or prohibited from disclosure.
The 11-page application, which stated he was interim athletic director at the time he submitted it, was provided by a source within the district.
In it, Crisp conceded that he had previously failed a TxDOT drug screening, after taking medication without a prescription.
Crisp wrote that he fulfilled a subsequent year of additional screening without incident.
The same application states that Crisp had a commercial driver’s license with a school bus endorsement.
Multiple district sources, however, said that Crisp no longer drives athletes to and from events.
Medina Valley ISD’s board is scheduled to meet Monday night. An agenda for Monday’s meeting had still not been posted online late Friday afternoon, meaning it is unclear if Crisp’s employment will be officially discussed.
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