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Melissa Bowerman, High School Track Coach, Takes Student To Prom, Is Dismissed From Position

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Melissa Bowerman
Melissa Bowerman

Melissa Bowerman, a 41-year-old volunteer track coach at Condon High School in Pendleton, Ore., has been dismissed from her position after she accompanied a male student from the team to the school's prom last month, the East Oregonian reports.

According to KTVZ-TV, Bowerman -- who is the daughter-in-law of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman -- admits she made an error in judgment, but maintains she never had an inappropriate relationship with the teen.

The station reports that the coach agreed to go only because she felt bad for him he since he didn't have a date and was doing poorly in English.

"If they go on (academic) probation and suspension, then they can't go to the track meets," Melissa Bowerman said, according to the Associated Press. "I said, 'OK, I will go with you, but we've got to talk about English first. You're going to do better in English.'"

According to the AP, Bowerman got permission from the boy's father, Bob Thomas, to accompany him to the dance.

"The first thing I thought, 'Maybe this isn't a good idea,'" Thomas said. "But Melissa has been like a surrogate mom to these kids for years."

Bowerman's 73-year-old husband and co-coach Jon Bowerman told the AP that if his wife is not allowed to return to the team he may not either.