A former high school math teacher and cross-country coach pleaded guilty to two counts of a lewd act on a child the day his trial was scheduled to begin.

Jay Bradley McJunkin, 36, committed sexual acts in Pickens and Anderson counties with a 12-year-old boy he was tutoring, according to arrest warrants.

After the guilty plea Monday, the judge deferred sentencing until McJunkin can have a psychological evaluation. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

McJunkin was a teacher and coach at Palmetto High School when he was arrested. He has since been fired.

"For the first time today he admitted he'd been involved in inappropriate activity and said he was going to accept responsibility," McJunkin's attorney, Bruce Byrholdt, said Monday. "It's hard for somebody to go into open court and do that — even harder to explain that to your family."