PORTLAND – Corbett Middle School football coach Randall Burbach fired for planning a controversial awards dinner for kids at a Jantzen Beach Hooters said he's moving forward with the event.
The restaurant's brand includes chesty waitresses in skimpy outfits.
In the wake of his dismissal, Burbach remained defiant about his initial decision.
"[I'm] not allowing myself to be bullied by a vocal minority, is the war I want to win," Burbach said.
Burbach said he's moving forward with plans for the award dinner, without district support. Hooters has even said it will pick up the tab and donate a percentage of Saturday's receipts to the Corbett booster fund.
"You stand up for what you believe in," Burbach said. "I believe this is a proper venue."
He said he asked the boys where they wanted to have their awards dinner and they chose Hooters. His own children had a positive experience there at age 12, he said.
Plans for the dinner, first reported in the Oregonian, were outlined in a letter sent to parents by the school’s athletic director, J.P. Soulagnet.
“I spoke with Randy Burbach this evening [Monday night] and asked him to move the event to a different venue,” Soulagnet said in the letter. “He was unyielding and emphatically said no for a number of reasons.”
More: Read full letter
Burbach maintains that he didn't hear any negative concerns from parents. He said the vast majority of the feedback he's gotten has been positive.
"I would have been willing to make changes had the people who are upset contacted me," Burbach said.
Soulagnet chose to dismiss Burbach, a volunteer coach who had been with the school for just a year.
“Some might say that this restaurant objectifies women. I would tend to agree,” Soulagnet said. “It is not a restaurant that I would feel good about my wife or daughter working at. I think it sends the wrong message to our young men and that saddens and worries me the most.”
Meanwhile, the story has been getting a great deal of attention. Burbach said he's been contacted by national news outlets.
Hooters has announced that it intended to donate $1,000 and 20 percent of its sales on Saturday to the Corbett Boosters Club.