New Father Judge Baseball Coach Out After Social Media Posts Surface

Officials aren't giving a reason for the move, but it comes after students say they had made them aware of posts on the coach's Instagram account that contained problematic language.

New Father Judge baseball coach John Hunter in a photo contained in a public announcement by the school of his hiring

John Hunter III in a photo contained in a public announcement of his hiring by Father Judge

On Monday, Philadelphia Catholic high school Father Judge announced it had hired a new baseball coach for its state champion team: John Hunter III. And things at the school have been going downhill since then.

Once the school announced the hiring, some students found Hunter’s Instagram account. There, they say, they discovered multiple posts using an offensive term for Black people and at least one post using a homophobic slur. Two students told Philly Mag they brought screenshots of these posts, which the magazine has also reviewed, to the attention of the school on Tuesday. Some parents also reportedly complained.

At some point this week, it appeared that these photos and posts were removed from Hunter’s Instagram page. Then, on Tuesday, after we were originally able to see Hunter’s account, the link no longer worked. (Later on Tuesday, the link began working again, with the account set to private.) I reached out to Hunter multiple times by phone and email. He has not responded.

On Tuesday night, I spoke with Father Judge athletic director Jake Serfass. When I told him I heard that parents and students had complained to the school about Hunter’s Instagram posts, he said, “I haven’t heard this from any parents or students.” Then I asked him if he had heard about all this from elsewhere, and he refused to comment. I pressed him on this point, and his refusals persisted. Finally, he told me that the administration was going to be looking into the matter.

Followup emails to Serfass, Father Judge’s principal, the school president, and Hunter himself yielded no further responses.

But sometime between Thursday morning and Friday morning, the announcement of Hunter’s hire had vanished from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s athletics website, the school’s Instagram page, and the Facebook page for the Father Judge Alumni Association.

Also, Hunter’s Instagram profile photo — which had been the photo used by Father Judge in its announcement, with Hunter wearing Father Judge gear and standing in front of the Father Judge logo — is now a different photo that has nothing to do with Father Judge.

On Friday afternoon, an Archdiocese spokesperson confirmed that the school is now searching for another baseball coach.