NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — Football players at East Valley High School are seeking answers amid the recent departure of their beloved coach.
“We believed that we were gonna hit the field, you know… start running plays because we have two months before our first game,” “He told us that basically he had been released along with his whole coaching staff,” said teammate Jonathan Lopez.
Arturo Williams had coached the team since its inception three years ago at the North Hollywood high school.
“We’re just trying to figure out what’s wrong and why he had to be let go and if we can get him back,” he said.
But the school principal and the district say Williams is not coming back. Due to confidentiality, we were only told it was a personnel matter, said Amy Johnson, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9.
“He’s a very respectable guy. More than just a coach, he was almost a father figure to us, always telling us to do good, you know, on and off the field. He just doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would do anything wrong,” said Hector Ochoa, another teammate.
For the seniors on the team, they say they’re losing more than just a coach.
“It’s really disappointing because it feels like, it’s our last year. Chances are we’re never gonna get to play football again. We want to make the most of it. With a new coach, who knows if we’re gonna have time to put together a decent team,” Ochoa said.
They credit Williams with their success on the field.
“Last year we lost in the semifinal round by two points in playoffs. So we came two points away from making a championship game. I think that if we were to retain our coach, we would make a push for our school’s first-ever title in any sport,” Ochoa added.
They say it’s hard to lose their coach, but it’s even harder not knowing why.
“We just want at least an explanation as to why. I think we deserve that right,” Ochoa said.
The principal says they are currently looking for a new coach and the football program will go on.