Taft boys’ basketball coach Derrick Taylor, one of the most highly decorated coaches in the Los Angeles City Section, has been suspended since Thursday in the midst of an ongoing investigation by the Los Angeles Unified School District, he confirmed to The Times.
The exact nature of the investigation is currently unclear. The Times has reached out to the LAUSD for comment.
Taylor guided Taft to a City title in February, the fourth of his career, in a season where he also notched his 500th coaching win. It’s been a tumultuous few months for Taft, who saw football coach Jeff Kearin step down in early March in support of Taft assistant principal Neezer McNab, who’d been under review by the district for an October incident in which she repeated a racial epithet while telling a group of students to turn down music.
A wide group in the Taft community protested McNab’s investigation, and she still remains as assistant principal, Taylor said. Similarly, Taylor is now receiving an outpouring of demonstration from students and parents in a change.org petition titled “STOP Taft High School from taking Coach Taylor’s Job!” which has nearly 1,200 signatures as of just after noon Thursday.
“Following his lead our children this year fought hard and Won [sic] the CIF City Finals,” the petition’s description reads. “To let him go would be a disgrace to the game of Basketball!”
Despite the support, Taylor’s job looks in jeopardy.
“Exactly what I’m being investigated for, I’m not sure yet … I’m just in a holding pattern,” Taylor told The Times. “That’s currently all I can say at the moment.”
This is a developing story. Check back for further updates.