GATES, N.Y. (WROC) – “It was a great day.” That’s what Terry Nowden said about the trip he took with some of his players and coaches to an NFL game last month. He said what happened when they got back was surprising.
“We get home and next two days it’s like, ‘oh there’s a rumor going around in school.’ It’s like what kind of rumor, what do you mean what rumors could they have?” Nowden said.
Nowden said he and his coaching staff were brought in for questioning about the trip. He said he disclosed that he had a couple of beers at the game. For that reason, he said he was let go.
“A mistake was made absolutely and I’m not gonna lie about that but it’s just not the right action to take in this case it really isn’t.”
Nowden said he was also questioned about bringing his brother and former Gates-Chili basketball coach, Monte Nowden, on the trip. Monte was fired in 2012 after he was convicted of raping a student.
Nowden said he just wants to know what the rumors are so he can set the record straight.
“If there’s no proof in the pudding and you asked me and my coaching staff what are we gonna lie for, we are grown men we told you the truth, so whatever rumors you’re hearing please tell us so that we know.”
The district said Nowden was let go for possible unprofessional behavior and an unauthorized guest. Nowden said he has nothing but respect for the Gates-Chili community but said this still cuts deep.
“Just cut ties like there’s no loyalty to anything. It hurts man. It really does hurt.”
An online petition to bring back Nowden has over 1,400 signatures. Nowden said he hasn’t heard anything from the district since being let go. He also said he’s not sure he’d take back the job if he was offered it but he’d consider it for the kids.
District officials said the trip was donated to the basketball team and approved by the board of education. They said they’re already looking for a new coaching staff.