Coach quits after wrecking school vehicle, being arrested on public intoxication charge


It’s a decision residents say is dividing their city.

A popular ArkLaTex football coach has called it quits after being arrested on a charge of public intoxication.

Fouke, Ark., residents – some wearing “Backing Barker” shirts – and members of the school’s football team were out in full force Monday night to show their support for Ricky Wayne “Rick” Barker.

The 59-year-old, who had been head football coach at Fouke for five years, is out on bond after wrecking a school vehicle and being arrested last week on a charge of public intoxication.

The Fouke School Board met Monday night to decide the fate of Barker’s job.

Barker’s supporters gave the coach a hero’s welcome as he entered the administration building.

While the School Board met in closed session, more than 200 people waited outside for nearly four hours before being allowed to enter the meeting.

Then in a prepared statement, schools Superintendent James Buie said: “The Fouke School Board voted unanimously to accept Rick Barker’s retirement effective immediately.”

An interim coach will be named before the start of football season, Buie added.

Meantime, a number of people have said this issue has divided the small Southwest Arkansas city.

KSLA News 12 reached out to Barker but was unable to reach him for comment.

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