Former Alta coach Les Hamilton cleared of wrongdoing by Canyons School District
Keith Johnson, Deseret News
DRAPER — Former Alta High football coach Les Hamilton has been cleared of financial irregularities and other misconduct by the Canyons School District.
The district's investigation lasted a month and exonerated Hamilton, according to a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
"Canyons District has conducted a thorough investigation into allegations of financial irregularities in the football program at Alta High School," the statement said. "The district has concluded these allegations are completely unsubstantiated and wholly without merit."
The coach denied all of the allegations, which included financial irregularities, taking bribes, taking apparel from the concessions stands and withholding college recruiting letters from students.
"They're all lies," Hamilton told the Deseret News when news of the allegations was made public at the end of December. "I'm going to fight to clear my name, but I'm not going to let this leave a bad taste in my mouth about Alta."
Hamilton was frustrated that his integrity was called into question by a parent with whom he'd had problems. Hamilton filed a restraining order against the parent, Todd Handley, after the parent allegedly threatened to kill the coach last fall.
Hamilton said the allegations, which were made to the district offices, were Handley's way of getting back at him for benching his son midway through the season. Alta was 2-4 when Hamilton benched quarterback Boston Handley, who had thrown nine touchdowns and seven interceptions at the time.
"We made that decision as a coaching staff, and that's the decision we all stood by as a staff," said Hamilton. "Every time in a close game when we needed a big play down the stretch, he threw a pick, and he threw interceptions for touchdowns late in games. We couldn't win games with him, and I told him that."
District officials didn't elaborate on the investigation, but said they are required to investigate any serious allegations.