Coach on leave after Murphy, archdiocese confer

EVERETT — The interim head football coach at Archbishop Murphy High School agreed to be placed on paid administrative leave while officials explore issues raised about his hiring, the school announced Friday.

The move came after school officials consulted with the Archdiocese of Seattle about information regarding Michael Allison’s teaching career in Oregon, which ended after he stipulated to an inappropriate relationship with a female student.

Allison was hired by Archbishop Murphy to be a physical education teacher. He was named football coach earlier this week.

“Mr. Allison agreed to voluntary paid administrative leave to give the school time for a review of the issues that have been raised in media accounts,” Greg Magnoni, director of communications for the Archdiocese, said in an email. “He denies the allegations and feels that by stepping back it will give the school administration an opportunity to resolve the matter and move on.”

The high school is treating the issue as a personnel matter, Archbishop Murphy director of communications Rebecca Hover said in a prepared statement.

“Following our consultation with the archdiocese Thursday, Coach Mike Allison accepted a voluntary paid administrative leave while we continue to review the matter,” she wrote. “Since this is a personnel issue, we won’t be commenting on it until the review is complete. There’s no timetable or deadline for the completion of the review.

“Regarding our football program: Our assistant coaches are working together to coach our athletes,” Hover added.

The action followed a report in The Herald detailing public records that show Allison surrendered his teaching license in Oregon after an investigation in 2009 concluded he engaged in inappropriate conduct with a high school student.

Allison’s promotion came after Bill Marsh suddenly resigned as coach earlier this week.

Allison previously served as head football coach at various schools in Oregon, leading Marist Catholic High School of Eugene to a state championship in 2003.

On Wednesday, Zander said the school was aware of the Oregon allegations before hiring Allison, and the school investigated. No criminal allegations were made against him, so the school hired him during the summer, Zander said.

Allison was head football coach and teacher at Gresham High School in 2009 when Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission started investigating allegations of inappropriate communication with a female student.

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