OVIEDO, Fla. — Oviedo High School head varsity football coach Matt Dixon will no longer lead the Lions going forward, according to the Seminole County School District. Dixon will remain a teacher at the school.
This all comes in the wake of a series of 9 Investigates reports, dating back to the 2018 football season, about unwanted touching among members of the football team, which have been known as "Code Reds," in which players would target younger football players in the locker room.
A student who said he was targeted in the locker room told 9 Investigates that another student "put his forearm against my back, and then he took his other hand and used his hand to stick his finger up my butt."
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The parents of that player pressed charges against the other student.
Three players were benched earlier in the football season after the allegations came to light.
Seminole County Superintendent Walt Griffin opened an investigation into the allegations after that series of 9 Investigates reports.
The school district completed its investigation earlier this month.
District investigators are in the process of writing the report and making recommendations on action items to Griffin.
A school district spokesman told 9 Investigates that district investigators interviewed more than 100 football players as part of the investigation into those "Code Reds."
One parent told 9 Investigates that the “Code Reds” began about three years ago.
Dixon has been head coach of the Oviedo Lions since 2017. He previously was the head football coach at Atlantic High School in Volusia County.
While at Atlantic High School, Dixon was cleared of hazing allegations in 2016 that were made by members of the team.
A parent told school officials that Dixon forced the team to get off the bus on their way back from a game and do an exercise. If they didn’t, they were kicked off the team.
Other players on the team denied any hazing took place and said the exercise was used to get them focused.
In 2018, while head coach at Oviedo High School, Dixon and several other assistant coaches were warned by the district about the use of foul language around the players.
That warning came after a district investigation into bullying allegations by a student, filed by a parent against Dixon and Assistant Coach Kyle Bradburn, which contended that they verbally abused his son.
The district investigation ultimately found that there was no bullying by the coaches.
"We are amicably parting ways with our head coach," Principal Trent Daniel said in a recorded phone call to students' parents Thursday afternoon. "Oviedo High School will establish a candidate selection committee to hire a new hear varsity coach prior to winter break."
Griffin said he is in full support of Daniel and her decision.
Read 9 Investigates' previous stories about Oviedo High School's football team below, and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for in-depth coverage on this developing story.
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Cox Media Group