Valdosta’s Rodemaker voted out by 5-4 vote again

The Valdosta City Schools board, pressed to make a second vote on its Jan. 28 decision to fire football coach Alan Rodemaker, voted 5-4 again Tuesday night to terminate Rodemaker’s contract.

The second vote, allowed after an outpouring of support for the coach and a request by Rodemaker’s attorneys, was held in a larger auditorium, the Performing Arts Center on the campus of the old Valdosta High School.

The room was filled, and several spoke on Rodemaker's behalf, according to the Valdosta Daily Times, which broadcast the vote and immediate reaction of the audience on Facebook.

Citing policy on personnel matters, Valdosta school board officials have declined comment.

Rodemaker had been Valdosta head coach for the past four seasons. During his first, Rodemaker led Valdosta to a state championship, the school’s first in 18 seasons.

In 2019, Valdosta finished 10-3 and reached the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals. Rodemaker’s four-year record at the south Georgia school was 36-17. He was an assistant coach at Valdosta for the six previous seasons.

The Valdosta Daily Times reported last week that it obtained a copy of Rodemaker's personnel file through open-records requests and found no reprimands or misconduct that would have led to being fired. The newspaper stated that previous personnel reviews contained only superior marks for his work.

Rodemaker expressed concern that the board vote went along racial lines. The five who voted for Rodemaker’s dismissal are black. The four who voted for his retention are white. Rodemaker is white. All members voted the same in votes.

Valdosta principal Janice Richardson and Valdosta City Schools superintendent Dr. William Todd Cason, who are black, recommended that Rodemaker be retained.