Weeks after being suspended by the University Interscholastic League for two non-district games in the upcoming 2013 high school football season, Jeff Nelson is no longer the football coach at Ozen High School.
Sources confirmed on Feb. 20 that Nelson was no longer the head football coach at Ozen and was being reassigned. Calls were placed to the Beaumont Independent School District administration office and athletic department, but they were not returned.
It’s been an interesting tenure for Nelson. In 2011, the Panthers finished 7-6 and went three rounds deep into the Class 4A Division II playoffs, losing to La Marque, 18-6. But the game ended with a nasty fight on the field. It was then the UIL placed the Ozen program on two years probation and then in January, the UIL suspended Nelson from the first two non-district games of 2013 for “improperly practicing during the school day,” saying he violated the two-year probation and extended the probation period through January 2016.
Nelson was hired in 2009 and became the fifth coach in the school’s 12-year history. Nelson came over from West Brook where he was an assistant for Craig Stump. Nelson, who played college football at Texas A&M, went 16-28 in four seasons at Ozen, which included last season’s 4-7 team that lost in the first round of the playoffs to Crosby. The Panthers did capture the Beaumont Bowl Trophy last season, defeating city rivals Central and West Brook.
Ozen is now one of two BISD schools without a football coach. Central will also be hiring a head coach as Andrew Washington was reassigned after going 22-23 in four seasons.