Maurice Belser quit his job at Taylor County High School heading into the first week of the regular season.
Former Taylor County High School football coach and athletic director Maurice Belser quit his positions at the school after just seven weeks there following a player protest regarding the way he has handled the football team, according to Brian Miller of the Tallahassee Democrat.
Belser was hired in July to replace Tanner Jones, who left the program following a five-year stint. Belser was an offensive lineman on Alabama’s 1992 national championship-winning team and has coached since 2002. His coaching career has consisted of short stints at high schools across Alabama and Florida. Prior to coming to Taylor County, Belser was at Tanner High in Alabama but left following a 3-8 season that was the school’s first losing season in 15 years.
After taking over at Taylor County, Belser created a rift between himself and the players and some of the assistant coaches. The new coach and athletic director had players and parents sign contracts that explained the players’ responsibilities to the team.
During the third week of training camp, Belser kicked three seniors off the team after they missed practice for work. This move created a major schism between the coach and players.
Star player Robert Glanton said the team tried to resolve the issue with the coach and also address some other concerns the team had with the practice schedule. The team was practicing at 6:30 a.m. before school and then following school and study hall causing players to spend more than 12 hours on campus. They asked to have the morning workouts reduced to just Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and for the seniors who were kicked off to be reinstated, but Belser declined all requests.
“We went to him as players and as a team before it even got to this,” Glanton said. “We addressed him by ourselves and he still didn’t respect where we were coming from and wasn’t going to change what he was doing. If we’d have continued with how things were going, there would have been even more problems. We felt we had to do something.”
Then, just before the team’s preseason game on Friday, Belser kicked off the team’s kicker publically in front of the team.
The players were considering boycotting the program in the lead-up to the regular-season opener, but Belser ended up quitting during an emergency meeting that took place Sunday.
There is no word on who will be the Bulldogs’ interim coach or how the athletic director position will be filled.