LAWRENCEVILLE -The daughter of a former Parkview High School football coach stood by its current coach Saturday, saying she thought Cecil Flowe's dedication to the school should earn the reprimanded coach the benefit of the doubt.
"He's dedicated his life to football, to the school system," Julie Mize-Richardson said. "It's one incident, it doesn't really describe what he is as a person."
Flowe received a written reprimand from Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks Monday after students and faculty said they saw the coach behaving uncharacteristically as a chaperone at the school's May 6 prom.
Students reported Flowe was dancing with them and encouraging them to get on the dance floor. According to Wilbanks' reprimand, some people at the prom questioned whether Flowe was under the influence of alcohol, but an inquiry by the school system, released Friday, supported Flowe's claim that he had taken prescription medications.
Mize-Richardson is the daughter of Chuck Mize, who led the Parkview football team until his death in 1993. Flowe, who was the assistant coach, took over for him and won state titles in 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Mize-Richardson said Flowe would come over to her house when she was younger and watch football games with her father. She said he wasn't a drinker, and although she's never seen him act as students described, Flowe was friendly with people he was comfortable with.
The district concluded its investigation, Parkview Principal Charles Buchanan confirmed, but a complaint about Flowe was sent to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. The state agency could take further action against Flowe if he is found to have violated the Code of Ethics for Educators.
The reprimand should be enough, Mize-Richardson said.
"I think the letter in his file should be adequate," she said. "All the contributions he's made over the years, all the things he's done positively, I really think the reprimand should be fine."
Mize-Richardson, who lives in Buford, said she hasn't talked much about Parkview since Mize's death but felt the need to support a man who was so loyal to her father.
"He followed him from school to school," she said. "(My father) would be very proud of what he's done over the years, proud of the program. If my father was here today, he would be supportive of him in this situation."
-The Associated Press contributed to this story.