The coach, who was suing in the wake of the Bellevue recruiting investigation, settled his suit after his suspension was reduced.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced Friday that former Bellevue assistant football coach Pat Jones had settled his defamation lawsuit against it.
The WIAA said it made no payment to Jones.
Jones’ lawsuit came in the wake of a recruiting investigation against the Bellevue High School football program that concluded in 2016. The investigation, which began after a series of stories in The Seattle Times, resulted in sanctions against the program and the removal of Jones and head coach Butch Goncharoff.
Jones had received a four-year suspension from coaching by the Kingco Conference. The WIAA, SeaKing District and Kingco agreed this month to lift the final two years of Jones’ suspension, prompting the end of the lawsuit, the WIAA said. In September, the WIAA ended the program’s postseason ban after one season but stripped it of two state titles.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Seahawks mailbag: Why don't they go no-huddle more? What happens now to Shaquem Griffin?
- An inside look at Chris Petersen and Washington's somewhat cantankerous relationship with ESPN
- Seahawks need to stay grounded, veer away from the surreal | Stone
- Nelson Cruz wants to stay in Seattle, but he's still waiting to hear from the Mariners
- Sports on TV & radio: Local listings for Seattle games and events
Jones said in a text message on Saturday he settled this lawsuit against the WIAA, SeaKing District and Kingco, but he is still suing the Bellevue School District.
“We are pleased that Mr. Jones has dismissed his lawsuit,” WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese said in a statement. “We also believe that the two-year suspension Mr. Jones served was appropriate given the conduct uncovered by the WIAA investigators and the school district.”
Update: Jones released a statement through the Firmani + Associates public relations firm on Saturday:
“I am pleased that the WIAA, Sea-King and KingCo agreed to a settlement that confirms that I am eligible to coach. I’m looking forward to returning to supporting student athletes in our community – it is what I am truly passionate about.
“I want to be clear that I did not violate WIAA Rule 23.1.1 and the May 23, 2016 self-report by Bellevue High School to the KingCo Conference was incorrect. The PERC ruling confirmed it is (and was) unlawful for BSD to retroactively enforce changes to compensation policies in the summer without first bargaining them. We asked what the rule meant when it came out, and we asked what we could do in the summer, and our school district told us we could be paid for coaching in the summer. It’s like a kid who gets permission from his parents to take the car out for the evening, and when he gets back, his parents ground him for taking the car out for the evening.
“The lawsuit just no longer includes the WIAA, Sea-King or KingCo—it is just between me and BSD—as it should be. This has been a difficult and long process for all involved, and this settlement is only the beginning of the truth finding its way out.”