Hamilton defensive coordinator Tim Dougherty placed on paid administrative leave

Hamilton defensive coordinator Tim Dougherty has been placed on paid administrative leave and will not coach the 2022 football season for the Huskies, according to an email from his attorney, Marcus “Rocky” Finefrock.

“There will be no post-season suspension,” Finefrock wrote in the email. “Due to public sentiment, CUSD, in its infinite wisdom, will offer the AIA a sacrificial lamb – arguably Arizona’s No. 1 defensive coordinator in turn for a playoff shot.”

Finefrock, in a subsequent email, clarified that Dougherty had been placed on administrative leave but would remain on campus as a teacher.

The decision has yet to be officially announced by Hamilton High School and Chandler Unified School District. Stephanie Ingersoll, CUSD’s executive director of marketing and communications, said in an email Wednesday that the district could not share more information.

However, a letter to Hamilton’s football families announced on Wednesday that defensive line coach Parker Barrett would take over the duties normally performed by a defensive coordinator.

A copy of the letter was sent to The Tribune.

“The purpose of this message is to let you know that effective today, August 24, Mr. Parker Barrett will assume the duties typically performed by a defensive coordinator,” the letter reads.

“The football community knows Coach Barrett as he has 12 years of college football experience, 4 of which as a defensive line coach at Hamilton where he also teaches. Thank you for your continued support of Hamilton High School and Chandler Unified School District.

Dougherty was at the forefront of a recruiting violation stemming from direct messages he sent to a Cesar Chavez player this summer after a 7-on-7 and big-man competition.

Cesar Chavez sporting director Lenny Doerfler took to social media to express his displeasure with the messages sent to players at his school.

“STOP CONTACTING / RECRUITING CHAVEZ FOOTBALL PLAYERS,” he wrote. “There is absolutely no reason for any coach, player, parent, trainer or anyone else to contact any of our athletes online or in person. Some examples of what our athletes receive.

Doerfler later posted screenshots of the messages. The player’s identity was hidden in the screenshots. However, Dougherty commented on the player’s ability at the defensive line after watching him in a 7-on-7 and big-man competition hosted by Arizona Varsity’s Just Chilly in June.

Dougherty, in the posts, compared the athlete to former Hamilton defensive lineman Deuce Davis, who is now at the University of Arizona. Dougherty went on to explain that Hamilton’s defense has been one of the best units in the state over the past three years, and that they “still plan to play 14 games in Hamilton” escaping the Huskies’ desire to compete for championships.

“…so only 1/3 of the season against the best competition in the state,” Dougherty added. “Iron sharpens iron.”

On Monday, July 15, the Arizona Interscholastic Association Board of Directors voted to place Hamilton’s football program on probation for the violation, which makes the Huskies ineligible for the playoffs for one year.

Hamilton, with support from CUSD officials, appealed to the AIA.

Hamilton’s administration previously submitted remedies for the violation, which included a three-game suspension for Dougherty. Shortly after the AIA board’s decision, Dougherty retained Finefrock as his attorney.

Finefrock, in the statement emailed Wednesday, criticized the AIA for its decision last spring in a similar situation involving the Desert Edge football program. A student at the school asked his uncle, who is one of the head coaches of the program, if he would take a family friend to school if he enrolled.

The coach replied ‘yes’, according to the minutes of the March board meeting agenda. The AIA has issued a warning to Desert Edge.

“When you look at the AIA’s decision on Desert Edge’s one-year warning for a recruiting violation by a head coach, a violation that is actually listed in the regulations against the penalty for Hamilton, it is clear that there can only be an unfair AIA bias against Hamilton,” Finefrock said.

“Like Desert Edge, Hamilton has no history of recruiting violations. Two very different decisions for first-time recruiting violations.

Hamilton’s appeal to the AIA Board of Directors will be heard on Tuesday, August 30.