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Weird But True

A High School Coach’s Expletive-Laden Rant Is Secretly Recorded, Posted On YouTube

Collierville (Tn.) High School football coach Shawn Abel wasn’t happy before his team’s game last week. We’re not totally sure why Abel wasn’t happy – maybe the team hadn’t been having good practices, maybe Abel was just frustrated at going 1-4 following a 3-0 start, maybe it was “individuality”…or maybe it was because he had the type of players on his team who would secretly record his pregame speech. Whatever the reason: not happy. Don’t believe us? Have a NSFW listen:

Not shockingly, soon after this went public, Abel became the former football coach at Collierville. (Oh, and apparently the motivational address didn’t work out all that great: Collierville lost the ensuing game, 28-25.) Abel was unhappy the “sanctity of the locker room [was] violated,” but ultimately put the blame on himself, saying he “[has] to be smarter” and calling his comments “out of line” in a statement.

RELATED: Another good recent coach freakout: Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham getting in Vanderbilt coach James Franklin’s face.

We’re of two minds about all this: on the one hand, we can’t say we really feel bad for Abel. He went nuts, and this was before a game, making the outburst all the more baffling. Plus – it’s high school football. You’d probably like to see a high school coach set maybe a little different example for the kids. (Eric Taylor could get heated, but you wouldn’t have heard a rant like this out of him.) On the other hand, if every coach who ever acted like this resigned, we’d have a whole lot of open high school football coaching jobs across America.

Mostly, we were just glad to learn that Abel also serves as an AP calculus teacher (UPDATE: a commenter says he teaches pre-calc, not calculus) at Collierville (currently, he’s on paid leave), and are enjoying imagining him unleashing similar tirades on his students, like, “IF YOU’RE NOT GONNA FUCKING LEARN THE EXPONENTIAL FUNCTION IS ITS OWN GODDAMN DERIVATIVE, PACK YOUR SHIT UP AND GET OUT!!!” Abel’s hoping to at least continue teaching…forget profane pregame speeches. We’re really curious how this guy conducts a lesson.

Photo by Chris Desmond for Memphis Commercial Appeal, via Prep Rally

  • Heyyall…

    He teaches honors Pre-cal, not AP calculus, and he’s a good teacher. He’s a nice guy who has had a lot to deal with this year, and from the speech, he’s obviously tried to tell his players something, and it seems as if he was flat out ignored. Even if it was a lapse in judgement, he shouldn’t have to take everyone’s crap for it. Funny how this story goes viral, but the fact that 9 teachers have been accused of screwing their students in Memphis (all in just 9 months) hasn’t raised hardly any attention from any sort of national news station. I know this particular site IS actually dedicated to sports, bit still, can’t you find a better story than this ?

  • Swbaseballmom44

    Sounds like this guy could coach my kids.  Anyone that passionate about teaching “we” instead of “I”, can be around my kids anytime.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JOWVAEYAV77DOUC53XOTKZOYDA Bangsmoke

    You DEFEND this idiot? What’s next? Defend them when he makes the kids work so hard that one of them drops dead? This is HIGH SCHOOL, not the NFL.

  • RRC

    So now coaches have to watch every word they say because some brat might be recording him with a cellphone?  How pathetic.  My high school coach used to give us speeches similar to this and we didn’t whine about it.  We said, man coach is pissed, we need to get our shit together.  Next thing you know, one of the parents will probably file a law suit against this coach because he hurt their kid’s feelings.

  • 20dtrain20

    @83b52312d0826428082284fd2d0c650c:disqus ..great call, couldn’t have said it better myself.  

  • carolinablue

    You people are just as pathetic as this coach.  You can get a message across to a kid without acting like this, plain and simple.  If you need to revert to this kind of classless, maniacal behavior, then you lost them already. 

  • Guest

    Pretty sure it is illegal to secretly tape without telling the person that you are taping….

  • Lilrebel_721

    obviously you were never a winner

  • John

    And I’m sure everyone should get a trophy too, correct. It’s people like you that have made this country soft. The kid who taped this would of had his ass beat the minute it posted by the rest of the team in my day and deservingly so.

  • Toour2

    To all the people who disagree with the coach, enjoy having your grown kids living with you forever!
    The entire nation has turned soft and when this nation was great we had coaches and leaders who held their players/employees accountable.

  • Bglas37

    Seriously…nothing that ”out of line” about what that coach said.  Kind of sad.  I was hoping to hear something extreme and controversial.  Too many F bombs….for sure, but the way society and high school kids talk now.  Not a big deal.  Played football in high school, college and pro and have heard way worse.  Unless there’s more to this story that isn’t published above.  This story is rediculous. And to have a player record it, speaks volumes why that team loses football games and in other areas of life.

  • Ghubbard

    I was a student of Coach Abel. He has never “unleashed similar tirades on his students”. There is a complete difference between the field and the classroom and people know this. Dont make assumptions that you cannot back up or support.

  • Wildman1056

    A few years ago, I walked past a guy that was “coaching” a group of young men at my kids’ high school. The language was twice as bad as this, and the ocaasion was nothing more than a mid-week meeting. While this isn’t great, I expected much worse.

  • Oline59chs

    I’m a former player of Coach Abel at CHS and you will be pressed to find a better teacher and coach. He cares deeply for his players and students, thus why he was so upset when a complete stranger was milling around the locker room pregame. Just imagine what would have happened if a teacher allowed an unauthorized person in a classroom; everyone would be up in arms. This is about the safety of his players as well as an effort to get everyone to pull in the same direction. This whole situation is extremely saddening.

  • Lil_LB_4EVER

    Honestly. If this guy ever sees this. My HS football coach said the same stuff, if not worse. This IS HS football folks, wether its okay or not, this is the culture. For that, I don’t blame the guy. Sure.. take it out of context and it sounds pretty horrible, but if you have ever suited up and took the field for your school, you would know this is just another part of the game..

  • Waucoma

    That this is even newsworthy shows how soft our nation has become.  
    Can’t take someone yelling at you in HS?  You will be sponging off the govt (or your parents) for the rest of your life because you certainly won’t be able to handle anything else negative that life throws your way.   This coach should be given a raise.

  • Lckitchenz

    The kids nowadays are some soft @$$ sissy punks. They don’t want to be outside because it’s either too hot, too cold, too windy, too cloudy, too sunny or just too d@mn something. We jumped offsides we got the crap smacked out of us. That stopped us from jumping offsides; it made us tough and winners. Even if we lost a game the other team knew they lost the battle. For those of you who want to condemn this coach was never an athlete or you probably sucked. We practiced two hours a day and got a 10 miunte water break in between; that was it. It was that long because the coach would have to take a $h!t and he took that long to do it. Those of you are crying about the kids being yelled at, probably were the ones who went home crying to mommy and maybe daddy (if he was a punk), because the coach yelled and cussed your @$$ out in practice. I’m sick of these sorry @$$ highschool football players. At the same time folks, this is FOOTBALL; a tough @$$ sport that REQUIRES tough @$$ players. Players die from playing this sport, yet we continue to play. GET TOUGH AND STOP YOU’RE FRICKIN’ CRYING AND PLAY FOOTBALL or quit, go home to mommy and help her make cookies and do the d@mn laundry for the family. PH()KIN’ KIDS MAKE ME SICK!!

  • Ldgfay

    I’m a mom of one of Coach Abel’s AP pre-cal students.  My son considers him the best math teacher he has ever had.  My son and daughter are also in the CHS marching band, and Coach Abel has been one of the band’s biggest supporters, taking extra measures to tear down social walls between the band and the football players.  I do not condone the language or the rant, but he’s human, makes mistakes like the rest of us, and has sincerely apologized.  He has coached at CHS for years, becoming head coach last year, and has earned the respect of not only players but parents.  I wish people would realize how one post can affect a life.  Our last home game tomorrow night will be a sad one without him at the helm.  I for one would like to see him back, not only teaching, but also coaching.

  • http://twitter.com/Gareth_Keenan Gareth Keenan

    I see nothing wrong with this.  Didn’t smack anyone upside their head.  Cursed…big deal, think these kids never heard the word or say it.  I wish more coaches kicked butt like this when butt needed kicking.

  • Ridiculous

    I had him as a teacher a while back for algebra and I can’t say he takes both roles as coach and teacher differently. I can recall him cussing us out in class a few times and even making fun of some of the students because one kid dressed “goth”. As far as it goes for the whole coach thing yes it is a given that your ass will be chewed out. But from what I saw fom him as a teacher he would snap instantly if something made him mad and that’s not right. He said so himself that his role as a teach and coach are two different things but I would stay shoving a desk as a student in class is very teacher like nor making fun of your students. Pretty sure I didn’t sign up for Football I signed up for algebra.

  • Five

    The employee manual: It is not permissible for for faculty or staff to drop f-bombs in front of or directed at students, accept the football coach he can drop f-bombs any f$(&@:! time he wants too!

  • Traandjt1127

    people need to stop needing training wheels in everything they do. most of the time the training wheels are the parents.  it starts young now everyone deserves a award for playing even if you are the losing team. come on!   if little jonnie’s team doesnt do enough to win too bad you dont deserve an award. just maybe them not getting something handed to them might in the long run make them work harder. if not too bad . grow up america everybody doesnt always have to win and get an award for being on a team. case in point the middle class keeps getting screwed by the rich everyday  but do we get an award for being second? not i said the 99%

  • John1015

    Good luck Coach! You can coach my boys anytime! Anyone who has played or coached the game would understand. I’ve coached football, baseball and basketball and hear way worse out of the kids’ mouths!

  • Jcfrederick42

    ok so he was making fun of some of the students who were dressing “Goth” as you put it. Obvisouly if he is making fun of students like this then he doesn’t deserve to be teaching or coaching. Especially he can’t go and respect other students way of life! That’s just not right, I’d hate to THINK about how that person would treat someone that was disabled in any way. That is if they are down there at all!

  • seasoned vett

    This got him fired? wow. It’s HS football. I’ve heard worse. You don’t want to get yelled at? Go play Golf. He got his point across. This isn’t little league, It’s HS.  Raised his voice, dropped F bombs, that’s the culture of a football locker room. Some coaches have a laid back style, some do not. Gte over it and take the lesson in instead of sitting in the back recording it to put online later.

  • Anonymous

    abel is a wimp that portends to be one of those “promise keeper” christian whack jobs–so the hypocrisy  is ironic.  And any other teacher yelling at a student this way–especially cursing–would be fired.

    He’s a has been football player reliving his past failures on the backs of these students.  What a scumbag.  Good riddance.

  • Doug

    These people on here justifying this coach’s mental illness
    are those who encourage this type of behavior. I lived in the south near Tennessee
    and Memphis and this is the culture down there. The people are disturbingly overzealous
    about High School Football. They are on the brink of insane about the programs
    and think High School Football really matters one bit in life. If you think
    this behavior is excusable in any way shape or form you have to evaluate your
    life, morale fiber and sanity, because if this guy “ever “ spoke to my kid like
    this I would show this pussy what real men do when you treat students this way.
    I am so pissed to think I lived in the midst of this backward culture and did
    nothing about it. Just another reason the South is a backward, closed, weird, bible
    thumping place. They are stuck in the 40’s and will stay there with this awful
    mentality. Oh, and he probably goes to church on Sunday believing he will be
    absolved of this scary behavior, just makes me sick. Fucking piece of shit,
    kudos to the kid that recorded it to open the eyes to the general public, and
    maybe they will now do something about it . Oh ps: this kind of crap goes on even
    with pee wee football too, damn 7 year old loser’s, how dare they have fun
    playing a game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Misty-MeShell-Wells-Benson/100001795587906 Misty MeShell Wells Benson

    Oh dear….and you used the words “morale fiber”, which is actually spelled moral, by the way. If you read your own post, you scare me more than that coach does. For the lesson that you would give him for treating your kid that way, I certainly hope that you don’t talk like that around your own children if you are condemning him for using the same words, essentially. A little hypocritical…wouldn’t you say?  As for what he was trying to teach these students, the same lesson that we have always heard in sports, music performance groups, any group activity…There is no I in team. 

  • Guest

    No, the state of Tennessee is a one-party state. You don’t have to tell anyone you’re taping them as long as it’s not taping something that is privileged speech, such as a person’s conversation with their lawyer.

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