MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Meridian football coach, Martez Edwards, was hired on January 28 to replace former Meridian head coach, Calvin Hampton.
Edwards coached the last two seasons at Forest Park (GA) High School, where he compiled a 5-17 record over the last two seasons. Before Forest Park, Edwards guided the Bessemer City Tigers to a 30-18 record over a four-year period.
Edwards was placed on administrative leave May 6 after what was deemed an inappropriate photo surfaced on social media. Thursday, the Meridian Public School District Board of Trustees held a special called meeting to reach a determination of whether there is cause to terminate Edwards. The meeting came after a May 28 termination hearing where Edwards and his attorney presented material in support of his continued employment.
Edwards had 10 minutes at Thursday’s meeting to present his final remarks.
“I’m here to serve the city of Meridian and serve these young men that are standing with me now and many more who, actually, some of them weren’t able to get here,” he said after the meeting. “But, we’ve turned this program and changed this program in 90 days since I’ve been here and we want to continue our strides. It’s a setback at this point by me not being able to be here with these guys. These guys are hurting," said Edwards. "And the right decision, I hope, is made and made immediately so I can get back out there with these young men.”
Meridian School Board president, Gary Houston, said the board did find a determination and would be sharing that information with Edwards and his attorney after the school board meeting on June 17.
The School district Thursday released a statement on Edwards:
“The Meridian Public School Board of Trustees is focused on our goals related to increased academic achievement, quality learning, safe and attractive schools, retaining highly qualified teachers, and partnering with parents and the community. All board decisions are made based on educational norms, ethical standards, and district policies. This board will continue to move forward to make our district positive and productive for the community.”
Edwards will have the opportunity to appeal through the chancery court if necessary.