The Provo School District has announced it has settled an appeal by Louis Wong, the former Timpview football coach. As part of the settlement, the district has retracted its firing of Wong. Instead, he is resigning from his teaching position.
The deal was struck between school district attorney Mark Robinson and Wong's attorney, Elizabeth Dunning, days ago, and the school board approved the settlement on Tuesday night, interim superintendent Bob Gentry said. As part of terms of the settlement, the district will also pay out Wong's contract through May 25, the end of the school year.
The settlement closes Wong's nearly three-month fight with the school district to retain his job after he was suspended and subsequently fired following a state audit that alleged fiscal irresponsibility and flagrant violations of district and state policy within the Timpview football program. Wong had been suspended in March as the school district reviewed the audit.
Wong released a statement through his attorney that said he approved of his new replacement his former defensive coordinator, Cary Whittingham and that he wished to bring closure so the Thunderbirds could focus on the next season. He added that he has accepted a new job himself he will be the director of personal training for Gold's Gym locations in Utah and was ready to move forward.
"I appreciate the tremendous support I have received from students, parents, other school employees and community members," Wong wrote in his statement. "Teaching at Timpview and coaching its talented and hard working football players has been the source of great pride and satisfaction to me."
The school district was similarly relieved.
"It's nice to get it done, to finish it," Gentry said. "It came up in negotiations between our attorneys, and [Wong's attorney] wanted to do it."
Wong still faces a hearing with the Utah State Office of Education Professional Practices Advisory Commission scheduled for next week, said executive secretary Carol Lear. His teaching license and his ability to teach or coach at a high school could still be at stake.
Wong was considered one of the state's top high school coaches at the time of his suspension. He won four straight championships with Timpview from 2006 to 2009.
Louis Wong, Provo School District settle
• The school district retracts its firing, allowing Wong to resign.
• The district pays out the rest of Wong's contract for the 2011-2012 school year.
• Wong still could lose his teaching license pending an investigation and hearing by the Utah State Office of Education.