Sunday, December 10, 2023

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UPDATED BREAKING NEWS: Southern football coach Fritz Hessenthaler fired on eve of playoff game tonight

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Fritz Hessenthaler has been removed as head coach of Southern Alamance’s football team, according to an announcement about 2½  hours prior to the team’s first game in the state playoffs.

Alamance-Burlington School System superintendent Dr. Dain Butler made the announcement Friday afternoon.

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“While we cannot provide details due to privacy and legal considerations, we want to assure our school community that this decision was made carefully after a thorough review process,” a statement from ABSS said. “… We understand this news may raise questions. However, we hope you understand the importance of keeping personnel matters confidential. We want to reassure you that we remain dedicated to serving our school community with the highest standards.”

Earlier in the day, the school system said that Hessenthaler, also a social studies teacher, was on leave with pay since Wednesday, according to the Alamance-Burlington School System.

Fritz Hessenthaler

No other members of Southern’s coaching staff are on leave, Atkins said.

Southern (9-1) holds the No. 3 seed in the Class 3-A East Region. On Friday night, the Patriots have a conference rematch with visiting Orange (3-7), which they defeated 49-0 on October 13.

Longtime assistant coach Chris Miller has been named acting coach for Friday night’s game vs. visiting Orange (3-7).

Hessenthaler, 53, is nearing the end of his sixth season as head coach of the Patriots. His teams have compiled a combined 48-18 record.

Hessenthaler previously was an assistant coach (1999-2002) with the Patriots before time as Southeast Guilford’s coach and one season as an assistant coach at Providence Grove.

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