MILTON, Ga. — A beloved Cambridge baseball and football coach resigned last week after he said he accidentally sent a text message to a student that was intended for a friend.
Coach Miles Martin, Cambridge’s head baseball coach and assistant with the football team, said in a statement that the incident was a mistake.
“I made an error when sending a personal and private message to a trusted friend,” the statement said. “It was an error and not an error in judgement that resulted in the message being delivered to a student.”
Martin said he immediately contacted the student and communicated the error. The statement said the student “acknowledged the message wasn’t meant for him.”
“I absolutely regret my error, have accepted responsibility for it and apologized to the family involved and thank them for acceptance and understanding,” the statement said.
According to Susan Hale with Fulton County Schools, the message was sent on Sept. 20. District officials were notified “several weeks ago” after a student at the school reported the incident to a teacher. Hale said a “human resources conversation” was held with Martin regarding the incident, but she said she could not give details about the meeting due to Martin no longer being employed with the school system.
In his statement Martin said he cooperated with district officials, but he was told he could not speak to anyone on the matter and it could be months before a hearing would be held.
“I made an error, I did nothing wrong, yet I saw no path to a fair decision without it taking months and costing thousands of dollars,” Martin’s statement said. “So, I made the personal decision to resign my position, a position I dearly love.”
A parent of the student that received the text said their family has “nothing but respect” for Martin.
“[We] do not feel that this text shows the type of person Coach Martin is and that his mistake should not affect his ability to coach and teach,” the letter said. “I regret that this happened but it does not change our feelings towards this great coach and teacher.”
John Shafer is the announcer for Cambridge’s baseball games and was on the board to create the Bears’ athletic program. Two of his grandsons have also participated in Cambridge athletics.
Shafer said the text message was offensive and “derogatory towards women.” He said he does not condone the message’s contents and said due to the sensitivity of the situation, he does not blame the school or Principal Dr. Edward Spurka for Martin’s resignation.
However, he does feel it is a loss for the school and said everyone deserves a second chance.
“He was a great coach and a great teacher,” Shafer said. “He is a guy that truly cares for his kids. I feel sorry for the kids and the family involved.”
That sentiment is shared by Doug Kolesar. His son, Michael, played under Martin for two seasons at Cambridge and is currently playing baseball at the Air Force Academy.
“At the end of the day, the kids lose in this situation,” Kolesar said. “I respect coach Martin greatly. He was a great person and great for our kids. I know I can speak for Michael and he has the upmost respect for coach Martin.”
Kolesar said he does not believe the “punishment fit the crime.”
“It’s just unfortunate that this happened,” he said. “And it’s unfortunate Cambridge is losing a guy like coach Martin.”
Cambridge High School did not comment on Martin’s resignation.