Orion School Board votes to fire head coach, Jason VanHoutte

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The Orion school board, behind closed doors, decided the fate of football coach Jason VanHoutte, the man who led Orion’s High School Football Team the last nine seasons.

“The consistent reaction I experience was shock and disbelief. Since then, there hasn’t been a lot of dialogue and I think it’s a combination of things. What do you say?” says Dave Deets, Orion Superintendent.

At the regular monthly Orion CUSD 3223 Board of Education meeting, a motion “To adopt the Superintendent’s recommendation to dismiss Jason VanHoutte from his Head Football Coaching assignment” was voted on and approved. Orion’s superintendent says his recommendation for the board to fire VanHoutte was in the interest of the students.

“If there’s a situation that we feel could be conflicting or negative, that’s paramount in our decisions,” says Deets.

Many folks in Orion still don’t know what to think about the 37-year-old being charged for having sex with a United Township student at his home in Moline. A student, who was 15 at the time of the alleged sex, between June and July.

“It’s a touchy situation and I don’t know if I’m aware of everything yet,” says one Orion resident.

The Orion School Board President, Doug Nelson, says the decision was tough to make. VanHoutte can appeal his termination if he chooses to. Mr. Chip Filler, an assistant with the Orion HS football program has assumed the duties as the Head Football Coach for the 2009-10 season.