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Kinnan blasts school district in email before retiring

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BRADENTON, Fla. -- As we first reported Thursday, the legendary former Manatee High Football coach Joe Kinnan officially retired from the school district. But the move did not come without a final push for change at Manatee County Schools.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has obtained an email that the coach sent out to 87 people, including Bradenton city councilmen.

Kinnan writes in part: "Thanks to the new leadership within the district, I was non-renewed after arbitrary and unjust attacks on my integrity."

Kinnan goes on to write: "It's time for change, and it starts with a new board, and then perhaps a new superintendent. I'm not going to tell you how to vote or who you should vote for, but I will tell you who I'm voting for and I hope you follow."

Included in the email is an image of a ballot including three school board races, with circles around Rodney Jones, Frank Brunner, and Mary Cantrell -- presumably the three candidates Kinnan wanted to win and "make a difference."

Both Jones and Brunner lost in their races. Cantrell will be in a runoff in November.

The email, sent out last Friday, came as tensions were high between Kinnan and Superintendent Rick Mills.

Kinnan had been accused of improperly steering school funds to a business owned by former Manatee High baseball coach Dwayne Strong. Since the allegations, Kinnan resigned as Athletic Director.

After Kinnan officially retired Thursday, Mills said he's dropping the pending administrative complaint against Kinnan.

My name is Scott.