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High School Sports

D.C. Hoops Hero Loses High School Coaching Gig After Charging Into Stands

Screenshot: YouTube

Darryl Prue, basketball coach of Alexandria (Va.) City HIgh School (ACHS), is out of work after starring in a viral video that showed him coming from the gym floor into the stands during a Tuesday night game against host Wakefield. All hell appears to break loose as a large guy who has been identified in news reports as Prue bounds up several rows behind the ACHS bench and joins in a scrum of students that had been heckling the ACHS team. There’s no haymakers landed or blood visible, but it sure looks like mayhem.

A longtime associate of the Wakefield athletic department who requested anonymity told Defector that from his vantage point at center court, the scuffle was contained in one corner of the gym, and didn’t seem as violent as it comes off in the video. “All of a sudden something broke out behind the Alexandria City bench,” the associate said, “but, I saw no punches, no serious brawl where any players got into it, and nothing that spilled out into the court. You could see a guy get led out of the gym, but there were no technicals, and the coach was allowed to finish the game.” 

Nevertheless, ACHS principal Peter Balas suspended Prue after the game and tried to turn this incident of an adult behaving dumbassedly into a teachable moment. “We have, and will continue to maintain, high expectations for behavior at school and in all school activities,” Balas said in announcing the suspension. And today, Michael Errigo of the Washington Post reported that Prue had resigned. Prue made no comment about his role in the incident or its aftermath in the story.

Prue was already a known quantity in the Washington, D.C., area for his more seemly deeds. He was a schoolboy star at D.C.’s Dunbar High School, where he was named to the Washington Post’s All-Met squad twice, as well as the even more prestigious Parade All America team in 1985 alongside future NBA players including Rod Strickland, Dennis Scott, Tito Horford, and Glenn Rice. He went on to a great college career at West Virginia University, where he still ranks second in career field goal percentage.  

He was hired in 2018 for the head coaching job he just lost. This is the first season that the team has been playing as the Alexandria City Titans. The school was until this year known as T.C. Williams High School, and was made legendary by the football feature film Remember the Titans. That name was dropped because Thomas Chambliss Williams had impeded the integration of Alexandria public schools when he was superintendent of the city’s schools for decades beginning in the mid-1930s. 

Losing the coaching gig via this sort of misbehavior puts Prue in celebrated company at the celebrated school. The most famous coach in the school’s history, Herman Boone of Remember the Titans fame, also lost his job for violence around kids. Contrary to the deified portrayal of Boone by Denzel Washington in the Hollywood hagiography that was Remember the Titans, the real-life Boone was fired as football coach in 1979 amid news reports of verbal abuse and physical violence toward his own players.