‘This was not any of our choices.’ Lexington high school fires all of its track coaches.

Matt Goins

All of the track and field coaches at Lexington’s Bryan Station High School, including two-time state championship-winning head coach Kathy Dodsworth, were relieved of their duties last week without explanation to players and families, according to school district correspondence and a parent.

Waarithah Muhammad, the mother of two members of the girls’ track team, said in an interview Sunday that team members received a letter from Dodsworth and three other coaches on Jan. 26 that said, “It’s with a heavy heart that I have to write this to you all.

“Unfortunately, the athletic department and Fayette County Public Schools Athletics have decided to relieve all of the track coaches of their duties. We will no longer be able to coach you,” the letter said. “Please know that each of us love you and want nothing but the best for you, and that this was not any of our choices.”

Dodsworth did not immediately respond to an email from the Herald-Leader asking for comment.

According to her biographical information at fcps.net, Dodsworth (nee Broadnax) has been a health and physical education teacher at Bryan Station for at least 16 years. She was in her second season back as track and field coach this year after some time away from the program.

She led the boys’ track team to a state championship in 2012 and the girls’ program to a state title in 2014. That year she was named Kentucky track and field coach of the year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Fayette County Public Schools’ spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall, in response to questions from the Herald-Leader, provided a Jan. 26 letter that boys’ and girls’ track and field team members received from Bryan Station High School Athletic Director Abby Jackson.

In the letter, Jackson said that Ashtin Flener, head cross country coach, former distance running coach, and Bryan Station High School teacher, would “support the team” for the remainder of the season.

Jackson’s letter said that she typically did not comment on personnel matters and she could not provide further details at this time.

Muhammad said team members had received a letter from Flener that said, “I am so sorry this is happening in the middle of your season. ... I am stepping in for the remainder of the indoor season so you all are able to continue practicing and competing.”

Teams will continue competing in scheduled indoor meets, Flener said. The outdoor season has not yet begun.

“I know the past 24 hours have been full of emotions. I know you all are understandably concerned, upset, confused, any number of emotions, “ Flener’s letter said. “I wish I had answers and could offer you all an explanation. However, I’m here to offer support for you all in any capacity you may need during this time.”

Muhammad said some students were organizing an effort to ask that the coaches who were dismissed be reinstated.

Muhammad said the team had been doing well.

Dodsworth, she said, “is a great coach and she cares about the kids.”