EDUCATION

Danny McGrath, Loudoun Valley High School varsity football coach, abruptly fired; angry parents demand answers

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PURCELLVILLE, Va. (WJLA) – Parents in Loudoun County are angry and demanding answers after learning that Loudoun Valley High School’s varsity football coach was unexpectedly fired last week.

Parents angry about coach's firing

Loudoun Valley High School football gear. (WJLA)

Danny McGrath was fired Friday afternoon, but officials have not said why. However, some parents believe his termination was related to a dispute over safety concerns for the players.

McGrath recently argued that due to Loudoun County’s smaller size, its students shouldn’t be allowed to play larger schools that have more and bigger players. Last year, a local company offered to give the Loudoun players special helmets outfitted with sensors that can show when a player is hit particularly hard, but a draft proposal submitted by McGrath and assistant coaches was not approved by the county.

Instead, the school’s Booster Club purchased the sensors and applied them to the helmets. An assistant principal learned of this during a practice in August and the students wearing the helmets with sensors were instructed to sit out.

Some parents have organized a letter writing campaign defending McGrath to the Board of Education. A local meeting was held Monday morning discuss McGrath’s firing.

McGrath has served as head coach since 2008. McGrath also works as the school’s physical education teacher. He will retain that position and continue receiving his coaching stipend.

Loudoun Valley’s football season starts Friday. The team will play James Wood High School at home.

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