Somerset High School boys soccer coach Steve Wallace was placed on a 10-day suspension prior to tendering his resignation earlier this week.

Wallace was suspended pending an investigation into allegations of “inappropriate behavior” that surfaced following a game in Lexington.

“Anytime we have reports of inappropriate behavior of a coach, we will place them on a 10-day suspension for the purpose of an investigation,” Somerset Superintendent Wilson Sears said. “(Wallace’s) resignation eliminated the need for the suspension.”

The suspension resulted from the alleged inappropriate behavior by Wallace at a girls’ middle school soccer game against Bates Middle School in the Lexington Christian Academy Eagle Cup Tournament in Lexington.

Following the game, a Bates Middle School parent, Chris Will, sent an e-mail to Somerset High School officials reporting inappropriate behavior he had witnessed by Wallace during the game.

“I sent the e-mail to Somerset High School after I witnessed what I felt was inappropriate behavior by the Meece Middle School coach (Steve Wallace),” Will said. “I got a rapid response from the Somerset administrators and feel very confident that the Somerset School System took appropriate actions.”

This isn’t the first time Wallace has come under fire for his actions on the soccer field.

In a letter obtained by the Commonwealth Journal, dated July 27, 2004, Sears apologized to the parents of a Somerset High School soccer player for Wallace’s alleged striking of that player.

The letter states:

As Superintendent of Somerset Independent Schools, I become ultimately responsible for monitoring the interactions between coaches, teachers and students. I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to you and (your son) for his being struck by Coach Wallace in such a way that it was either painful or embarrassing, or both. I, along with the high school principal and the athletic director, in no way condone such coaching behaviors. Furthermore, I consider such coaching techniques to be suspect in terms of rules governing the game of soccer.

Coach Wallace has been formally reprimanded for his behavior and has assured the Athletic Director, the Principal, and me that no such incident will happen in the future.

Wilson Sears. Superin-tendent

Somerset Independent Schools

According to the few Meece Middle School girls’ soccer parents who made the trip to Lexington for the Meece-Bates game, the atmosphere was made very chaotic and intimidating by the large number of animated Bates Middle School fans in attendance.

“The Danville (Bates Middle School) parents seemed out of control,” a Meece Middle School girls’ soccer parent said. “They were heckling our players and the refs. Some of them even came over on our side of the field and were making rude remarks to us.

“They definitely created chaos on the field and it got our girls frustrated,” the parent said.

The parent said she did not witness Wallace doing anything that could be deemed inappropriate.

“I did not witness any inappropriate action taken by Coach Wallace nor did my daughter,” the parent added. “I am an extremely over-protective parent and I would never allow my daughter to be put in a an unhealthy or harmful situation. Steve (Wallace) has coached my daughter in soccer for nearly six years and, in all that time, he has been a very professional and great coach.”

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