Bremerton head football coach Nate Gillam resigns

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BREMERTON, Wash. — Bremerton High School head football coach Nate Gillam has resigned, according to the Kitsap Sun.

A Bremerton School District spokesperson told  the newspaper Gillam tendered his resignation on Friday.

The team has been in the national spotlight after assistant football coach Joe Kennedy refused to stop praying on the field.

Officials placed Kennedy on leave on October 28 because of his refusal to comply with district directives that he refrain from engaging in overt, public religious displays on the football field while on duty as a coach. They say his conduct poses a risk that the district will be liable for violating federal and state constitutional rights of students.

Kennedy initially agreed to the ban, but with subsequent support from religious-freedom organization Texas-based Liberty Institute, he resumed the postgame prayers.

The Sun reports Gillam was a standout player at Bremerton 20 years ago and returned as coach in 2005. At that point, the team had won only one game in the previous two seasons and had very low player turnout.

Gillam’s record is 34-76 in 11 years. The Knights won a league title and went to state in 2012.

Gillam did not respond to the Sun’s request for comment.