Ex-High School Football Coach’s Trial Begins


Louisville, TN—A trial begins this week for a former high school football coach accused of reckless homicide and wanton endangerment in the death of a high school football player last year.

Max Gilpin, who was just 15 years old when he passed out during football practice in the summer of 2008, suffered from septic shock and organ failure stemming from heatstroke. He died three days later.

His coach, Jason Stinson, faces charges on the basis that he denied water to the players and made them run extra sprints in the heat. Gilpin’s body temperature was 107 degrees when he passed out. According to WHAS, twenty minutes passed between the time the boy passed out and when coaches called paramedics.

Gilpin’s parents have filed a civil suit against the school and six coaches. Stinson is the only one to face criminal charges.

Stinson’s supporters insist the event was a heartbreaking accident, while others say it was a criminal offense. “The best example I can give you is like someone shooting into a building not knowing anyone is in there, then killing somebody,” Attorney R. David Stengal told the media in January. “They didn’t know they were in there, but they should have known that shooting into a building where people normally are is something dangerous.”

Former players came to Stinson’s defense, one saying, “Coach is amazing. Coach truly cares about his players.”

Stinson expressed remorse for the situation after being charged, saying “The one thing people keep forgetting in this is that I lost one of my boys that day. It was a boy that I loved and a boy that I cared for and a boy that meant the world to me. That’s the thing that people forget. And that’s a burden I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”


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