East Ridge High School's football coach will not be on the field next year -- and his former players are not happy about it.

Former football players rallied in front of East Ridge High Monday morning in support of Coach Bud O'Hara.

O'Hara has been in charge of the school's football program since the school opened in 2002. After The Knights suffered their first losing season under his leadership this year, the principal informed him that he would not be back as coach.

The former players are questioning the timing of the announcement, which came on the day of the Sandy Hook tragedy. They say O'Hara is the kind of coach who shapes young men into pillars of the community.

"He’s done it off the field and on the field, in times like this when you have a bunch of tragedies happening, to get rid of someone like this who’s a positive influence on kids doesn't make sense,” said Travis Dyer.

Coach O'Hara had a record of 87 wins and 37 losses at East Ridge, leading the team to a number one ranking. O'Hara will stay on at the school coaching girls weightlifting.