In an exclusive interview, a former coach at Maumelle Charter High School is addressing sexual misconduct allegations made against him by some of his players.
Stephen Owen felt right at home after taking a coaching job at the school in June 2016.
“It was just so rewarding, and it’s what I love,” Owen says.
“I wanted to be at that school until I retired.”
His exit came sooner than expected after allegations from his own players stacked up.
“Complete shock,” Owen says of the allegations.
Maumelle police launched an investigation in July after school officials said players came forward accusing Owen of sexual misconduct that dated back to 2016.
According to a police report, girls said Owen played sexual music, allowed the girls to change clothes on the bus, he changed clothes in the girls locker room and openly talked about his sexual past.
Owen denies any wrongdoing.
“When I was asked about the music, I supplied the playlist [to adminstrators],” Owen says.
“I always had a parent or I had a adult chaperone on the bus.”
We asked Owen if he did change clothes in the girls locker room.
“I did, but there was no one present,” Owen says.
“The only time I ever did, I was in the locker room with it locked and closed, and I changed and left before any other girl came back in there.”
The police report indicates a six-day timeline that culminated in Owen’s firing but no criminal charges.
Owen supplied us with what he says are nearly a dozen notes of support from parents and players.
Now, the former basketball, volleyball and track coach doesn’t know what his next move will be.
“Well, I was hoping to get another teaching job, but I think now with all this out it’s going to be a long time,” Owen says.
A school board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 13 in Maumelle. Owen says he plans to attend.
He says if he is given another opportunity to coach he probably will not coach girls teams.