Katy ISD’s “Coach of the Year” is Charged with Second-Degree Felony for Improper Relationship With Student

Katy ISD police investigate a troubling allegation regarding an inappropriate relationship with an Obra D. Tompkins High School student by a faculty member.

Now-ex staff member Robert Ownby, 38, resigned during questioning about the allegation. Ownby has been charged with a second-degree felony for an improper relationship between educator and student.

Ownby hasn’t been on the high school campus since the investigation began, said Tompkins High School principal Mark Grisdale. Ownby was arrested and booked into the Fort Bend County Jail on Thursday, March 3.

If convicted of this crime, ex-basketball coach and math teacher Ownby could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, as detailed by Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code.

According to the district’s website, Ownby was an assistant girls basketball coach. He tied for High School Girls Sport Assistant Coach of the Year in 2020 in Katy Magazine News.

Katy ISD Police Department is leading this developing investigation.

The full disclosure provided to parents and faculty by Katy ISD and Tompkins High School principal Mark Grisdale can be read below:

“Katy ISD Police have investigated an allegation concerning an improper relationship involving a OTHS staff member and student. The staff member, Mr. Robert Ownby, resigned during the inquiry and has been charged with a second-degree felony for improper relationship between educator and student. Ownby has not been on the OTHS campus since the investigation commenced.

“The District takes these types of allegations very seriously and is fully cooperating with law enforcement and other agencies.

“Providing a safe and secure learning environment is our top priority, and we will always act swiftly when that is compromised. Students, staff and community play an important role in keeping our school safe by reporting potential threats or safety issues. 

“In addition to reporting information to school administration or law enforcement officials, students and parents can also utilize the Katy ISD mobile app, SpeakUP, to anonymously report tips.”

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Hannah Menslage

Hannah Menslage is the assistant publisher and editor of Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazines. She also writes a lifestyle column and manages the social media accounts for these publications. Hannah is a journalism/communications student in the Valenti school at the University of Houston. In her free time, Hannah enjoys gardening, cooking and baking, hanging out with her dog and cat, writing and completing fun DIY projects. Contact her with any questions at hannah@katychristianmagazine.com.