Head track coach at Cooper HS reinstated after she says she was demoted for having baby

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Editor’s Note: Click here for an in-depth look at allegations surrounding Coach Garcia’s appeals to get her job as Head Coach back. 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Cooper High School’s head track coach has been reinstated after she was reassigned to a different position – a demotion she says occurred because she had a baby.

Kolista “Kelly” Garcia received word Wednesday that she would be restored to Head Track Coach/Head Cross Country Coach – a position she’s held at Cooper High for the past 6 years.

In June, just a couple months after Coach Garcia returned from maternity leave following the birth of her son, she received notification that she would be serving as the Assistant Soccer Coach/Head Cross Country Coach for the upcoming school year.

She’s been fighting that decision ever since, saying she was asked inappropriate questions about her ability to care for her son and fulfill her duties as head track coach.

The school says she was reassigned because they needed a soccer coach, and she was the best fit. 

Coach Garcia lost two appeals before making her case to the school board, finally getting her job back after dozens of former students, fellow coaches, mentors, and friends spoke out at a public hearing to show her support. 

Abilene ISD has released the following comment regarding Coach Garcia’s reinstatement:

Abilene ISD and Kolista Garcia are pleased to announce that Ms. Garcia will return as girls’ head track and cross country coach at Cooper High School. The district and Ms. Garcia thank their many supporters for their interest in this matter, and look forward to a great 2019 track season.


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