ARDEN-ARCADE, CA - The coach of Rio Americano's High School varsity football team was let go Tuesday after 12 players quit the team in support of a teammate who was booted off because he was going to miss a Saturday league game for an out-of-state recruitment event.
Christian Mahaffey and two assistant coaches will no longer be coaching the Raiders, confirmed Trent Allen, spokesman for the San Juan Unified School District.
Mahaffey and the school principal met Tuesday and the principal made the decision, Allen said.
Mahaffey said he stood by his decision to kick Guillermo Salazar off the squad. Salazar plays three sports and reportedly may be in line for a baseball scholarship. He was going to miss Rio Americano's Oct. 13 football game for baseball recruitment.
As for Salazer's teammates who stood by him, Allen said they were suspended one week for insubordination and then can rejoin the team. There were no clear written expectations for attendance and participation on the team and that factored into the decision to allow the kids to play again, Allen said.
"In talking it through, the coach didn't think he could effectively coach a team under that decision," Allen said. "The principal felt a change was needed in the coaching staff."
Tuesday afternoon, Mahaffey reacted to his dismissal, "I don't agree with the decision. It was a hard decision for the principal to make, but I think it's wrong."