Spokane Public School administrators declined to renew Ferris High School football coach Jim Sharkey’s coaching contract Tuesday.
Sharkey was accused of exposing himself to players at a leadership camp last summer.
He is being investigated by the school district and the sheriff’s office in Shoshone County, Idaho, where the camp was held.
Sharkey denies the allegations. He’s coached the Ferris Saxons since 2006 and won a state championship in 2010. In 2016, he went 5-5.
At least three football players claimed that while Sharkey was grilling hot dogs and hamburgers at the camp along the Coeur d’Alene River near Cataldo, Idaho, he turned toward them with his exposed penis inside a hot dog bun.
The students said Sharkey told them something similar to: “You think that is a big dog – take a look at this,” according to a Spokane Public Schools investigation listing multiple versions of the same quote.
School district spokesman Kevin Morrison said he couldn’t speak directly to why the district chose not to renew Sharkey’s contract saying only “the district has decided to move in a different direction.”
Sharkey also teaches fitness, health and leadership classes at Ferris. He remains on paid administrative leave from that position, Morrison said.
In 2016-17, Sharkey made $96,754 between his teaching contract and other district pay, such as bonuses and stipends. His coaching contract was worth $7,085. Coaching contracts are renewed annually.
Sharkey declined to comment for this story.
The coaching job will be advertised internally until Friday. On Friday, the job opening will be posted publicly.
Jenny Rose, the president of the Spokane Education Association, said coaching contracts are overseen by the union. However, because it’s a year-to-year contract, the union only gets directly involved with a contract renewal if the coach asks for union representation. The union doesn’t represent an employee if the employee has hired an attorney.
Rose couldn’t say whether or not the union is representing Sharkey, citing confidentiality rules.
Dave McKenna, Gonzaga Prep’s head football coach, said filling a coaching spot this late in the year could be difficult. McKenna, who has coached at Gonzaga Prep since 2008, said he was hired in the beginning of February.
“I know it’s almost April,” he said. “It’s tough.”