LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches native and world-famous soccer star has voiced his displeasure against his former high school coach's dismissal from the high school.
Clint Dempsey, who played for Coach Farshid Niroumand in the early 2000s, stuck up for his coach in a telephone interview from England on Tuesday afternoon.
"I think it's terrible the fact that he's been doing it for so long and being a successful man he doesn't do it for the money he does it because he loves it," Dempsey said.
Dempsey, who now plays for Fulham in the English Premiere League, said Niroumand emailed him, congratulating him for breaking the record for the most goals scored by an American in the league.
"He's definitely someone important in my life and I stay in touch with him," Dempsey said. "You know the love we have for the game and the kind of man he was."
Niroumand confined his retirement from Nacogdoches High School on Tuesday, due to differences in philosophy on discipline.
"We bumped heads a few times I think that was me being a teenager," Dempsey said. "After I was out of high school I was able to look back and appreciate the little things he did and the lessons he taught me."
Dempsey said Niroumand "led by example."
"There are kids who probably wouldn't be motivated enough to try to get a degree," Dempsey said. "Because of him and having a positive male role model in their life were able to accomplish that and do better things."