[UPDATED with Reinstatement:] Harry Welch, State Champ Santa Margarita High Head Football Coach, Must Go: LA Times
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 10, 9:14 A.M.: Santa Margarita High School's football team is coming off a state championship, having won the CIF Division I bowl game on Dec. 16, and all the state's largest newspaper wants is head coach Harry Welch's head.
Placed on administrative leave as the Rancho Santa Margarita parochial school and the Diocese of Orange investigate allegations he pushed or shoved a player before that bowl win, Welch is also being rocked by the firing of Kevin Lawrence Orton, his third assistant coach accused of drug possession.
December turned out to be both the best and worst month for the Santa Margarita High Eagles. On Dec. 13, between the team's wins in the Southern Section Pac-5 title game and the state championship finale, Welch is accused of shoving or pushing a student-athlete. That led to an Orange County Sheriff's Department investigation, although the Orange County District Attorney's office declined to file charges against Welch.
After first defending the assistants, the school and Diocese later fired Coen and Hendricks when it was learned they had copped to misdemeanor pot possession early last season.
Sondheimer would be quick to fire his boss, too.
"The credibility of the school's mission in its community is being threatened," the journo writes. "One of Welch's prime objectives for coaching -- trying to turn boys into ethical, responsible young men--is in question."
So is the meaning of a game played on grass.
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