Chad Barrett is no longer football coach at Bonney Lake High.
The third-year coach resigned from his coaching and teaching position Wednesday evening after a Sumner School District investigation found him responsible for as much as $20,000 missing from the high school’s ASB bank account.
Under terms of the mutually-agreed-upon resignation, Barrett must pay restitution to the school district. The amount has not been determined, said Ann Cook, district communications director.
According to the district, an internal audit discovered $16,000-$20,000 unaccounted for. The monies are related to ASB fundraisers that included football players writing letters soliciting donations from local businesses and selling “Elite Fundraising Cards” that offer discounts at local merchants to those who purchase the cards, which sell for $20 a piece.
The district does not know exactly how much money is missing because the unsold discount cards are also unaccounted for. The district’s total is an estimate based off monies raised the previous two years. These fundraisers generated about $17,000 in each of the previous two years, Cook said.
According to the district, the ASB received approximately $320 from the discount card fundraiser.
Cook said the district has also alerted the state auditor’s office to the situation.
Barrett declined to get into specifics, but accepted responsibility for the missing funds.
“The money that was lost or stolen, I am responsible for,” Barrett said. “Being the head coach, I am responsible for all things that happen within the football program.”
Barrett insisted he would not do anything to hurt the players in the program.
“I did everything for those kids,” he said. “I’d never take anything away from the kids.”
The district put Barrett, who also was a physical education and health teach, on paid administrative leave on Feb. 29 when it began its investigation. Barrett requested, and was granted, medical leave, which began Feb. 9.
Barrett revived the Panthers football program when he took over in 2009, guiding the Panthers to the playoffs in his first two seasons. In three seasons, Barrett compiled a record of 19-10. Under his watch, Bonney Lake players set multiple league records and garnered league MVP and all-state honors.
In December, he became the third Washington coach to coach in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
The district has already begun searching for a new football coach. District administrators met with players and parents Wednesday evening.
Cook said no other coaches were involved.
The district asks if you made a donation to the Bonney Lake football progam during the 2011-12 school year to contact Debbie Campbell at (253) 891-6010 to verify the status of your donation.