New Diana high school coach charged with solicitation of a minor

Published: Oct. 27, 2008 at 12:58 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2008 at 5:15 PM CDT
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John Tiger
John Tiger

An East Texas high school football coach was arrested and jailed Saturday on a charge of online solicitation of a minor.

39-year-old John Tiger was jailed around 3 a.m. Saturday by officials with the Upshur County Sheriff's Office. Investigators say Tiger, who lives in Longview, is a coach and teacher in New Diana and previously coached and taught at Union Hill High School.

Tiger maintained contact with at least one Union Hill student after he left the district and on Friday sent text messages to a 15-year-old Union Hill student. Based on the nature of the text messages, the mother and child came to the sheriff's office.

"He was under surveillance constantly and we had individuals stationed at the football game to maintain visual contact on him that night," said Upshur county district attorney Billy Byrd.

Tiger, a defensive coordinator with the New Diana football team, allegedly instructed the girl to meet him after the game at a pre-determined location.

"There were officers that maintained visual observation on him and other officers were established at the prearranged location at the time that he was to meet. At no point was he out of visual observation from investigators and at the point that he was to pick up the young girl instead he was met by Upshur County law enforcement officers put in custody and taken to Upshur County Jail," Byrd said.

Tiger was booked on a charge of online solicitation of a minor age 14 and under, a second degree felony. Byrd said the Union Hill girl was 14 when the texting started and turned 15 on Saturday.   The D.A. said he expects other criminal charges to be filed against Tiger, and that Upshur county officials are investigating the case and possibly other cases that may have occurred.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.