East St. Louis boys basketball coach Stetson Hairston has been suspended as District 189 administration investigates an audio recording of a profanity-laden practice-time rant that has surfaced.
The former Belleville East and Southern Illinois University Carbondale star was just hired to lead the Flyers program in April. The season begins Dec. 5.
The Belleville News-Democrat obtained the recording from a source who asked to remain anonymous. In it, the 2000 Belleville East graduate berated his team with a battery of coarse language, at one point calling his players “losers.”
Because of the language, the BND will not post the recording on its website.
Hairston was hired to replace Phillip Gilbert, who was fired after two seasons and a 18-8 record last year. The two competed against each other in the Missouri Valley Conference when Hairston was at SIUC and Gilbert starred at Bradley.
“He should be upset because you guys got his (explicit) fired ...” Hairston can be heard saying in the recording. “Now he asks me ‘how’s the (explicit) going coach?’ ‘Well (explicit), you know how it’s going because you coached these (explicit) (explicit) for two years. You know what it’s like.’ Get the (explict) out of here.”
District 189 administration spokesperson Sydney Stigge-Kaufman confirmed that Hairston was being investigated on the basis of the recording. The district has no other comment pending its investigation, she said.
Attempts to reach Hairston have been unsuccessful.
Former East St. Louis coach Tony Young was fired under similar circumstances in January of 2015. A profane halftime speech briefly showed up on YouTube before he was suspended and eventually fired. He said at the time he knew who made the recording but, other than saying it was not a player, would not identify the person.
Young and Hairston were teammates at SIUC. Young currently is head coach at Marmion Academy in Aurora.
This isn’t the only issue the district administration is dealing with regarding it’s basketball program.
Girls basketball coach Dwan L. Prude in late October was fired after being charged in St. Clair County with soliciting a sex act from a 17-year-old girl, a Class 4 felony.
Prude also was hired in April. Prior to that, he worked as the head coach for Lincoln Middle School girls basketball team for two years, and was the assistant coach for the East St. Louis High School boys basketball team from 2012-2015.
He’s been replaced by Antonio Maddox, a former assistant coach, say East St. Louis Athletic Director Leonard Manly.