Football coach fired after player injured while boxing

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Park High School football coach has been fired after a player was seriously injured while boxing during a "leadership camp" last week and school officials discovered inappropriate texts between the coach and players.

The school board voted 9-0 Thursday to fire Bruce Knerr as football coach and assistant track coach, Livingston Public Schools Superintendent Don Viegut said.

Tim Peterson told The Billings Gazette that his 17-year-old son, Austin, underwent surgery in Spokane, Washington, after suffering four fractures to his eye socket and one to his nasal cavity while boxing on Aug. 11.

"His skull was smashed in a depth of nine millimeters, putting pressure on the brain," Peterson said Thursday.

The Livingston Enterprise reports Knerr exchanged texts with players suggesting he had a sexual interest in the players' high-school age girlfriends and the players' mothers. A sample of some of the texts was handed out at Thursday's board meeting, which was attended by about 75 people.

Knerr said Thursday the texting occurred during times when he was not considered an employee. He is not a teacher.

Knerr came to Livingston after three seasons as head coach in Wolf Point.

The Park High football team posted a 1-8 record in 2015.

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