Ooltewah High School's basketball coach reassigned to textbook depository

Ooltewah High School's basketball coach reassigned to textbook depository

January 13th, 2016 by Kendi A. Rainwater in Local Regional News

Ooltewah High School head basketball coach Andrew "Tank" Montgomery has his hands full not only with his team but now with the rape and assault charges leveled at three of his now-dismissed players.

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

Hamilton County schools Superintendent Rick Smith transferred Ooltewah High School's basketball coach to the district's Textbook Depository pending the results of the criminal investigation into the rape and assault of a player during a team trip days before Christmas.

Smith announced Monday that coach Andre Montgomery had been transferred to a non-teaching role, adding that Montgomery was not allowed on school property or to interact with students.

"I don't want anyone to think [Montgomery] is being punished or penalized, at this point," Smith said in a press conference Monday.  "He is being transferred at this point.  If we find other reasons to address the coach, we will."

According to a letter in Montgomery's personnel file dated Jan. 11, Smith told him that "the purpose of this transfer is to ensure the efficient operation of Ooltewah High School throughout the upcoming weeks."

The letter also says that Montgomery is not to initiate contact with any employee of the school system, attend any school-sponsored event without permission or discuss the events of Dec. 22, the day of the assault, this anyone besides law enforcement, investigative officials and attorneys in the case.

"Your assignment to the textbook depository will continue until such time that law enforcement and all other agencies conclude their investigations," Smith wrote in the letter.

The alleged assault and rape of a 15-year-old occurred during the team's trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., to play in the Smokey Mountain Classic basketball tournament. 

Sevier County Juvenile Court records show that one 17-year-old and two sixteen-year-olds are charged with aggravated rape and aggravated assault in this case.

Smith canceled the team's season last week, and law enforcement in both Sevier and Hamilton Counties are currently investigating the case.

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