Flowers, who has been football coach for two years at Troup High School, no longer works or coaches at the school, confirmed Tina Duckett, director of public relations for Troup County Schools.
“It’s unfortunate. You can understand the affinity a student has for his coach. They’ve stated what he means (to them), but they don’t have all the details,” Duckett said. “That’s the other side of it and I’m not at liberty to tell (those details).”
Flowers, a graduate of Troup High, took over the coaching position at the school in 2010.
Players left class about 8:10 a.m. Tuesday and were allowed to protest without penalty until 11 a.m. They gathered beneath the flag pole in front of the main entrance.
“We walked out of class to get Coach Flowers back,” said junior Maurice Swain, one of the team’s top defensive players. “This isn’t about football, this man is like a father to some of us.”
Players spoke of Flowers as more than a coach on the field. He served as a father figure to many of the students, especially those who didn’t have fathers in their lives.
“He changed my life. I had an attitude problem and Coach sat me down and had a talk with me,” said Reuben Foster, a junior all-state player. “Now I’m a good student. My attitude’s good. I don’t have a father – he’s my father. We want him back.”
Foster is one of the most heavily recruited players in the country and has verbally committed to play at the University of Alabama.
“I just want my Pop back,” he said.
Joe Sanders, a junior defensive lineman who played at LaGrange High School as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Troup High, said Flowers was the reason he had received multiple offers to play college football.
“Coach Flowers took me to camp, pushed me hard, got me out there,” Sanders said. “I’ve got five offers from colleges already and it’s because of him.”