Community shows support for coach amid fundraising controversy

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PROVO -- Hundreds of community members showed support Tuesday night for a high school football coach in the middle of a fundraising controversy.

Provo School District officials want to implement guidelines for fundraising. They also accuse Timpview High School's head football coach, Louis Wong, of improperly raising money for his program and using the funds inappropriately. Rumors had circulated that his job was on the line.

The Deseret News reports Wong met with Timpview principal Dr. Todd McKee before a district board meeting Tuesday night and "apparently worked out any issues."

Hundreds of parents and fans filled the meeting to show support for Coach Wong. Dozens spoke during the public comment session about Wong's character and his dedication to building a successful program.

One supporter, Stephen M. R. Covey, said, "Coach is a person of integrity. He is an honest man. He is congruent, that is, he does what he says he values."

Timpview soccer coach Rob Dahle said, "We hope that whatever issues there are, there are ways to work through them. There has got to be compromise and ways we can all win."

A large fundraising effort to build a new fitness facility at the school prompted a look at new fundraising guidelines. District officials refused to comment about their investigation into the fundraising, but it included an audit by the state board of education and a recorded interview of Wong and another coach conducted by the superintendent.

Since becoming head coach in 2005, Wong has raised approximately $2 million for the school. Most of that money is believed to have gone to building a new weight facility and making improvements to the football stadium. Wong supporters believe that he is being unfairly targeted because of the success he has had in raising so much money.

Many private donors expressed frustration Tuesday night toward the school board for its lack of appreciation.

Tracy Rawley said, "I would think that the district office would actually welcome donations and actually say, maybe, thank you."

Although Coach Wong will keep his job, the investigation is on-going.

Wong told the school board that everything he has done has been in the best interest of Timpview students and the community in general. He agreed that guidelines would be appropriate.

E-mail: and Andrew Adams.

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