A former football coach from Palatka who resigned amid abuse accusations and a DCF investigation could teach again in Georgia.
State reports say Randell Owens head-butted a 16-year-old player and told another to “commit suicide.”
Newly obtained documents say the coach was rated highly effective in recent performance reviews. The most recent review from just months before he resigned in December.
Owens was rated "highly effective" for instructional practice and "effective" in student data areas. Accusations of abuse surfaced in Fall 2017 and, according to a Putnam County Sheriff’s Office report, was handed over to Department of Children and Families.
A letter sent Dec. 4, 2017, to Owens by the Putnam County School Superintendent Rick Surrency cites the DCF investigation as a reason for suspension. Owens handed in this resignation letter Dec. 18, 2017.
Owens wrote, “This resignation would free me to pursue other opportunities suited to my interests."
First Coast News went to the address listed on the resignation letter.
We spoke with a woman who answered and told us the coach was unavailable. She declined to appear on-camera. We asked about the situation to which she told us she would need to consult the family’s attorney before making a statement.
We reached out on Sept. 11, 2018, to attorney Huntley Johnson, who was listed on state documents representing Owens, he told us no comment.
Owens previously taught and coached in Georgia – where another incident had been reported and later expunged. A background check signed by Owens shows he had been arrested in Lowndes County, Georgia on a misdemeanor simple battery and criminal record expunged.
A search of his teaching certificate showed it remains in good standing until 2020.