MILTON — A popular Santa Rosa County basketball coach permanently lost his Florida educator certificate for having a sexual relationship with a female student 35 years ago.

Anthony McDonald’s ability to teach was permanently ended Dec. 31 by the Education Practices Commission. It learned McDonald had sex with the student while employed at Milton High School as an athletic director and teacher during the 1983-84 school year.

The administrative complaint filed Nov. 5, 2019, reported that they had sex at hotels, his apartment and in his vehicle.

However, he inexplicitly was not punished until after he retired from Central High School in 2015.

He began his teaching and basketball coaching career in 1980 in Santa Rosa County.

Santa Rosa County School District Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick said he had "no explanation" for why it took the educational agency 35 years to discipline McDonald.

During McDonald’s tenure, he taught driver education, history, middle grades, physical education and social science. His certificate was good until June 30, 2019.

He served as the Central High basketball coach for 30 years, earning 718 career wins and five district championships there. McDonald coached both the boys and girls basketball teams from 1989-94.

He grew up in the community and played basketball at and graduated from Allentown in 1969.

He served in the U.S. Air Force for four years and earned his education degrees from Jefferson Davis Community College and the University of West Florida in 1977.