Cottonwood High School football coach Josh Lyman resigns
, KSL TV
SALT LAKE CITY — Cottonwood High School football coach Josh Lyman resigned Wednesday as a coach and teacher.
According to a short statement from the Granite School District, Lyman's resignation was accepted by the district and put an end to an investigation the school district was conducting into allegations of inappropriate physical contact made by a female student against Lyman.
Lyman's attorney, Ed Brass, said the move was prompted by Lyman's desire to pursue another job opportunity. Brass confirmed that Lyman is not pursuing a teaching position.
"He's really interested in the opportunity that has presented itself, so I think he wants this to be behind him at this point," Brass said. "He's very interested in working someplace else."
Left unanswered is just what caused Lyman's removal and resignation, and whether there was any misconduct or violation of school policies concerning his alleged conduct with the student. No criminal charges were filed in the case and the school investigation is now halted.
Granite School District Police reports — which the Deseret News acquired through a Government Records Access and Management Act request — show that 15 people provided information to police April 23 or 24, with seven listed as witnesses, and others listed as students, former students and parents. The list also included a former student, described as a second "victim."
When asked about the former student, district spokesman Ben Horsley said it was innapropriate for him to comment since the district's investigation was not concluded and no criminal charges were brought against Lyman.
Carol Lear, director of school law with the State Office of Education, said there is an educational licensing investigation into the allegations against Lyman that will continue. If his license were to be revoked, Lear said it would impede his ability to be employed in a public school setting anywhere in the country.
Horsley said officials were nearing a conclusion to their investigation, but because of Lyman's resignation, no details of the investigation will be released. District officials met with Lyman and Brass, but Horsley declined to comment on whether an agreement had been reached to suspend the investigation in exchange for Lyman's resignation.
"Because he has resigned he's not an employee, and we don't investigate people who aren't employees," he said.
Lyman has been on paid administrative leave since April 18. The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office investigated, but declined to file criminal charges.
"The information presented in the investigation provided evidence of contact between the student and Lyman," District Attorney Sim Gill wrote in a letter to the Granite School District at the time. "However, the evidence did not support the conclusion that a crime was committed by Lyman against the student."
School officials said the student involved was 18 and that while there may have been no violations of law, there were "administrative concerns" about what is alleged to have occurred between Lyman and the student. Brass said previously that his client knew who the girl was, but had no social contact with her outside of the school.
Brass said Wednesday that because the investigation is over, there are no longer any allegations to respond to.
"I'm sure Cottonwood High School, Granite School District and Mr. Lyman would all like to move forward," Brass said.
Lyman, through his attorney, would not consent to an interview.
When the student's claims were made public, Horsley commented on the devastating impacts that allegations of that nature have on a school community and on the family of an alleged victim. On Wednesday, he said the allegations against Lyman were serious enough to disrupt the community but emphasized that his comments should not be taken as an indication of guilt.
"I never indicated one way or another to Josh Lyman's innocence or guilt," Horsley said. "We just look forward to getting the Cottonwood football program up and running."
Horsley also said he couldn't speak to what effect the allegations against Lyman and the incomplete investigation would have on Lyman's employment prospects with other districts.
"He's resigned with us and I'm not going to comment," Horsley said.
Lear said state investigators have yet to make any recommendations to the committee that oversees licensing decisions and that investigation is expected to conclude during the summer.
Lyman, a former wide receiver at the University of Utah, was promoted from assistant to head coach prior to the 2010 season. He graduated from Skyline High School in 1998 and was part of three state title teams. He played football at Dixie State College before playing for Utah.
He took the reins at Cottonwood High school after the 2010 death of newly named head coach Terry "Teko" Johnson, who passed away in New Jersey just weeks before the team's first practice. In 2010, Lyman led the team to the 5A state quarterfinals and finished the season with a 10-1 season record. Last season, the Colts went 5-5.
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