Pomona High School football coach John Brown resigned Jan. 8 on the premise that the school offered his job to Colony fourth-year head coach Anthony Rice soon after Brown’s first and only season head coach. Rice said that in a conversation about two months ago with Pomona athletic director Tom Sweeney, Rice’s friend and former colleague, Sweeney floated the idea of Rice joining Pomona’s coaching staff as the offensive coordinator under Brown.
“I was never offered (Brown’s) job,” Rice said Tuesday. “Tom (Sweeney) was talking to me about being the offensive coordinator and I just laughed it off. It was kind of a joke… I’m already a head coach, so why would I go be an offensive coordinator? He was kind of serious about it but I just laughed it off.”
After receiving phone calls from friends regarding rumors that his job was being shopped around, Brown went straight to the souce, phoning Rice the week he ultimately resigned. It was that phone call that Brown said was the last straw, moving him to resign later that week.
“They asked Rice if he had interest in the (Pomona head coaching) job and they offered him the job,” Brown said. “I know this because Rice told me.”
Rice, however, says he told Brown it was the offensive coordinator job that was discussed, not the head coaching job.
“Why would they want to give up somebody’s job who was doing a good job?” Rice said. “J.B.was doing a great job with those kids.”
A Pomona assistant coach from 1996-2004, Brown, who went 6-4 in his lone season as head coach, insists that Sweeney was willing to lure Rice, who won CIF championships at Colony in 2006 and 2007, because of the athletic director’s approach to his job.
“(Sweeney) thinks he’s a Division-I athletic director,” Brown said. “He thinks this is a business. He thinks that if he can get a guy that’s won two CIF championships that he should go after him. This isn’t a business. We do this because we love the game. We do this to help kids grow up to be successful citizens.”