KINGFISHER, Okla. (KFOR) – Five months after the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation turned over its findings to the Kingfisher District Attorney, the Kingfisher High School head football coach has been charged with a felony count of child neglect.
The Kingfisher Police Department received notification of assaults after a lawsuit was filed against Kingfisher Public Schools.
According to an affidavit filed on Tuesday, OSBI began their investigation into Jeff Myers in February.
“During the course of the investigation, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Special Agents learned that football players were left alone and most of the time not supervised by an adult or faculty member while inside the Donovan Boutwell Center,” court documents say.
Investigators interviewed fourteen former Kingfisher High football players, who admitted knowledge, witnessing, and/or participating in “The Ring.” A football manager also admitted knowledge, and/or witnessing “The Ring.”
Agents also interviewed four former players who witnessed Myers watching “The Ring” wrestling matches. Five additional former football players stated Myers knew about the boxing match.
News 4 received video showing one of the “The Ring” matches in May. The video was recorded in 2018.
The video depicts a circle of football players in the Kingfisher High School locker room. Two then-freshman are in the middle of the circle.
One of the boys has boxing gloves on while the other has towels taped to his fists.
On the wall behind the fight read, “Jacket Pride.”
One of the players in the outer circle yells, “Kick his f*****g a*s!”
On August 2, Myers completed a deposition as part of an ongoing federal lawsuit that was filed in 2022.
“Myers confirmed he knew about ‘The Ring.’ Myers denied knowledge about any boxing; however, admitted to knowledge and confirmed he had witnessed ‘one’ of the wrestling matches,” an affidavit reads.
Myers reportedly didn’t see any difference between the locker room brawls and the players wrestling as part of the Kingfisher Public Schools wrestling program.
During one of “The Ring” boxing matches, one player is said to have gotten a black eye, according to an affidavit.
A current assistant coach for the Kingfisher High football team, Derek Patterson told agents “The Ring” has been part of the Kingfisher culture since he was a player under Myers in 2011.
In addition to the fights, a former Kingfisher assistant football coach, Micha Nall told investigators he knew about “The Ring.”
Nall also recalled overhearing Myers call players “cancers.”
Nall has also been charged with perjury and child abuse.
During the 2015-2016 season, a former player witnessed Nall grab another player by his face mask and punch him in the face three or four times.
Six former Kingfisher football players were interviewed by OSBI agents. The six confirmed Nall wrestled a student football players. This allegedly happened when the player was a freshman.
In a deposition from over the summer, Nall called that moment in time a “very, very poor decision” on his part. He admitted to telling other students to put their phones away because he did not want anyone videotaping the fight.
He also admitted to watching several players participate in “The Ring” on more than one occasion.
“Nall admitted he had the opportunity to stop ‘The Ring’ on more than one occasion but never did anything to stop the wrestling or boxing matches,” court records reveal.
Nall is accused of verbally abusing minors during the course of his tenure at Kingfisher Public Schools. He worked with Kingfisher Public Schools from 2013 through 2020.
Nall admitted it was possible he called players “fa**ot” while at Kingfisher Public Schools, during football practice.
Nall was deposed in July as part of the ongoing federal lawsuit. He allegedly made several contradictory statements under oath regarding events that had already been proven during the course of a previous criminal investigation in 2020.
Dana Golbek, a former Kingfisher Public Schools teacher and current Kingfisher Board of Education member is being charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect.
The victim in the federal lawsuit, Mason Mecklenburg and his father, Justin reportedly showed up to Golbek’s house in June 2021 with a packet showing the abuse Mason had endured.
She was deposed as part of the federal lawsuit in May.
The affidavit states Golbek was provided photos of Mason’s bruised back from being beaten with a wet towel by other players. She admitted to the pair notifying her of physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, bullying, and hazing.
“Golbek did not report this to DHS or the police,” court records read.
She did, however, alert the then-Kingfisher Public Schools Superintendent Dan Craig. She told officials she believed he would report it to authorities.
The fourth charge in this case comes as a twist. The Kingfisher District Attorney has charged Justin Mecklenburg for failure to report child abuse or neglect. It’s filed as a misdemeanor.
Justin provided a statement through his attorney to an OSBI Special Agent regarding why he did not report the abuse of Mason.
The statement revealed he first found out about his son’s abuse when he was 15 years old.
Court records show Justin confronted Myers and brought his concerns to the Superintendent.
As of October 16, investigators say Justin never filed a police report regarding Mason’s abuse with the Kingfisher Police Department nor the Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Office.
The Mecklenburg’s family attorneys released a statement regarding a variety of factors surrounding these charges.
Regarding Charges Against Nall, Myers and Golbek:
“We are proud that Mason had the courage to take a stand for what is right and something is
finally being done to protect the students in Kingfisher. Sadly, ‘The Ring’ was just the tip of the
iceberg. Kingfisher Public Schools created a culture of abuse, harassment and intimidation that
lasted for years. Sexual assault, physical abuse and mental torture were part of Kingfisher
High’s unofficial official curriculum in the athletic department. And Mason wasn’t the only
Regarding Whether Others May be Charged:
“These two coaches and the Kingfisher School Board created a culture of abuse. It really was like
a horror film version of Lord of the Flies. Several former students tortured Mason. They hit him
with taser stun guns. Beat him. Humiliated him. Several students held Mason down on the floor
while another sexually assaulted him—even sticking his genitals in Mason’s mouth and trying to
suffocate him. Two of those former students refused to testify about what happened and instead
pled the 5th at their depositions.”
Regarding the Charges Against Justin Mecklenburg:
“Justin and Lyndy Mecklenburg have been relentless in their pursuit of justice for their son,
Mason. They reported what happened to the person in charge—Jeff Myers. They demanded
action by the coach, school board members, the district and prosecutors. They met with
prosecutors without a lawyer to make sure law enforcement had a full understanding of all that
has happened. They helped their son get lawyers to represent him in court. And they’ve even
filed their own case in the Oklahoma Supreme Court in which they asked the Court to intervene
and take action because Kingfisher’s School Board and Ryan Walters have stood by and done
nothing. So, it is startling for anyone to suggest that they should have done more.”
Regarding Ryan Walters and the SBOE:
“It is great that the District Attorney has taken action. The question remains, though, will Ryan
Walters and the State School Board do their job? We’ve heard a lot of grandstanding about what
restrooms a student can use. But, why aren’t they doing anything when sexual abuse actually
occurs in a school restroom or shower? There has been extensive reporting that at least two males sexually assaulted a minor male child in a school locker room—pinned him down so he
couldn’t move, put their genitals in his mouth, and spread their bottom checks over his nose and
mouth. But, as of today, the SBOE and Walters have done nothing to step in and address any of
News 4 has emailed Superintendent Ryan Walters’ office about Myers’ employment and the future of his teaching license, but have not heard back. We’ve also called and left a voicemail for the Kingfisher Public Schools Superintendent David Glover, but our call has not been returned.
According to the Kingfisher Press, the Kingfisher school district has placed Myers on leave pending the outcome of his legal matter.
Myers was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame in 2020.
News 4 asked the Oklahoma Coaches Association if Myers would be stripped of his title due to the felony charge.
“Until the courts decides these cases, it is premature to speculate what our Board of Directors would elect to do. Also, as a result of the status of the on-going situations, it would be irresponsible for us to discuss the matter any further at this point,” stated the Oklahoma Coaches Association Executive Director, Wayne Dozier.
The federal lawsuit against Myers and Kingfisher Public Schools is set to begin in December with a trial.
A settlement of $5M and the firing of Myers was presented earlier this year, but the clock ran out on that offer. It now sits at $10M with the same request of firing Myers.