PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The embattled principal at Woodland Hills High School is now the school’s new head football coach.

The Woodland Hills School Board voted Wednesday night to hire Kevin Murray, despite the opposition of some parents.

Murray replaces coach George Novak, who retired after last season. Novak was at Wedneday night’s meeting, and spoke in support of Murray prior to the board’s vote.

“Decisions are made based on what’s the best for the kids of Woodland Hills, and what’s best for the Woodland Hills School District,” said Novak. “Not the people who may have an ax to grind about something.”

Murray had been the assistant football coach for the Wolverines for several years. Several players also came to his defense.

Watch Brenda Waters’ report: 

“Mr. Murray was my position coach last year. He’s one of the coolest coaches I ever had. I just look forward to winning a state championship with Coach Murray,” said one student.

At several points, the meeting broke down into yelling between board members and people in attendance who wanted to speak before the vote. Board members said only those who registered in advance of the meeting were allowed to speak before the vote. Others had to wait until the public comment period of the meeting.

As board members gathered Wednesday evening, dozens of parents rallied outside the district’s administrative building.

Some are calling for the Murray to be fired, along with a school resource officer, over an incident in early April. A ninth grade student claimed he was assaulted by the officer. Police said the case was turned over to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

woodland hills protest School Board Approves Principal As Football Coach, Despite Parent Protests

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Murray first came under fire following an incident last fall.

He was placed on leave for a few months after an audio recording surfaced of him allegedly threatening to punch a student in a profanity-laced tirade.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office decided not to file charges in the case and Murray was later reinstated.

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