“Allegations of undue influence were brought forth to employee relations and [Coach Boyd] resigned yesterday. The Principal [Cliff Jones] and the Athletic Director [Gary Sylvestri] are currently looking for a replacement,” said Samantha Evans, executive director of communications for Fulton County Schools.
“The school has turned the matter over to the GHSA and any outcome [regarding the investigation] will be determined from what they discover.”
A year ago Boyd’s Eagles went 29-4 (losing three games by forfeit), were 6AAAAA champions and won their second AAAAA state title with a 79-67 victory over Savannah.
Milton won their other state title in 2009-2010 and finished as AAAAA state runner-ups in both the 2008-2009 and 2010-2011 seasons.
Before his arrival at Milton, the Eagles had just five state playoff appearances in their long history — as a Class-A school in 1958 and 1959 and three straight years from 2005-07 according to ghsbp.com.
After a losing season in his first year, Milton quickly became a state and national power while also becoming a lightning rod for controversy as the school became a destination for talented basketball players transferring in from other areas.
Milton’s last two senior classes included seven Division-I signees — Evan Nolte (Virginia), Shaquille Johnson (Auburn), Charles Mann (Georgia), Julian Royal (Georgia Tech), Shannon Scott (Ohio State), Dai-Jon Parker (Vanderbilt) and Jordan Loyd (Furman).
The upcoming Milton team was expected to be another strong group with the return of talented swing-man Jalyn Patterson and the arrival of freshman phenom Christian Lewis from Northwestern Middle School, but also included as many as five new faces transferring into the school according to an E-mail from Boyd over the summer — Johnnie Vassar, DaQuain Watts, Isaiah Manderson, Idris Taqqee, and Zach Hodskins.
Boyd denied any “undue influence” in terms of recruiting any players, instead claiming that transfers were a result of players and families wanting to play for and move into the Milton district.
“All I ever tried to do in five, going on six years, was help student athletes become better people, players and students and never contacted any player or family about coming. All I did was respond to those families that wanted to come [to Milton],” he said.
Boyd went on to say that families contacting the school is “how it’s supposed to be done” and was something that happened “over and over again” during his tenure at Milton with phone calls and E-mails coming in from interested families “every other day.”
“I would not change a single thing [about my five years]; I am very proud of our program and have enjoyed the experience tremendously. I’m very proud of our players and I think that it’s unfortunate that at a school like Milton, having certain players and people move in really upset some people.”
“I am a believer in freedom of choice, equality and opportunity, and all I ever promised players was an opportunity to compete,” he said.
In over 30 years as a head coach Boyd amassed 604 wins and won six state titles across four different schools (Campbell, Tucker, Berkmar, and Milton). He isn’t ruling out coaching again in the future.
“I would like to continue coaching, maybe at a private school,” he said. “When one door closes another one opens.”