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West Hall basketball coach fired over alleged relationship with student

OAKWOOD -- Zac Swansey, West Hall High School’s head basketball coach, has been fired, Hall County Schools officials said.

“In recent days, rumors had surfaced within the school suggesting an inappropriate relationship between Coach Swansey and a current female student at West Hall High School, which prompted the investigation,” a school system press release states.

Swansey’s dismissal was the result of a school investigation.

The matter has been referred to local law enforcement, officials said.

Gordon Higgins, Hall County Schools spokesman, said the school’s investigation found that it may have been a “short-term relationship.”

Swansey, also an online learning teacher, had served as head coach for one year. He also supervised in-school suspension at West Hall at times, Higgins said. Earlier this year, the coach led the Spartans to their first playoff appearance since the 2010-11 season.

A call to Swansey seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Previously, he had been an assistant coach and staff member at Johnson High for two years.

Nicole Bailes, Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said her office has just learned of the case, and it has been assigned to investigators.

“We will need an opportunity to conduct a full investigation before (commenting) further on this matter,” she said.

Higgins said Hall County’s coaches and teachers are highly trained professionals who understand their role of leadership. When something like this happens it is extremely disappointing, he said.

“That trust and confidence is violated in a most egregious manner,” Higgins said.

West Hall Principal Scott Justus, who led the school’s investigation, referred a request for comment to Higgins.

Swansey played basketball at the University of Georgia, hitting the game-winning 3-pointer in an SEC tournament win against Kentucky en route to the Bulldogs winning the conference tournament in 2008.

He played his first two seasons at high school basketball at Flowery Branch, scoring a school-record 1,400 points.

Many fans remember his Lanierland semifinal game as a sophomore against Johnson in 2005, when he scored 48 points, seven less than Marquise Wright of Johnson.

Then he played his final two years for Dunwoody, leading the Wildcats to a Class AAA state title as a junior and a semifinal appearance as a senior.

He was an all-state pick his senior year of high school and finished his career with a school-record 2,368 points at Dunwoody.