Fired New London Football Coach Surprised

Football coach Jack Cochran will no longer be leading the New London Whalers. 

Supt. Dr. Christopher Clouet has removed Cochran from his position, citing a long list of "questionable judgments."

Cochran said he was surprised.

"We've been working for days on reaching an agreement and we thought we were getting really close to it, and now this comes as a shock," said Cochran, who has been the school's football coach since February 2005.

The latest allegation is that Cochran held an illegal practice when he was the school's baseball coach.  He has since resigned that position under a deal he said he made with the superintendent.

"He made a deal and said, “If you resign as baseball coach, you'll stay on as football coach.” He didn't honor that," Cochran said.

Clouet said Cochran has selective memory and nothing was promised. 

Cochran was removed from the coaching position because, "The melodrama that he has created is just too much of a distraction." 

Cochran said there's also a likelihood of future incidents and that could affect the high school's standing with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. 

Cochran is fighting the decision.

"I never once admitted any wrongdoings with baseball or infractions," he said.

Parents and students are upset with the decision, too. They said Cochran helps players, both out on the field and in the classroom.

"He's got kids in college that never would have had a way to go there. There's so much he does behind the scenes," said Barbara Major of New London.

"He's like a second father. I was expelled from school my freshman year and my sophomore year that just passed, he helped me get into school and everything," Franklin Dallas, a New London High School sophomore, said.

Students are wondering what's going to happen when class is back in session after the break. They said there would be a lot of emotions when they see Cochran, who will keep his job as a health teacher. 

Cochran said he'll apply for the football coach position when it is advertised. He has every intention to be with the team this fall.

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