In possibly the most surprising phone call I have received in my four-plus years of covering sports for the Sun, Colton football coach Rick Bray has indicated that he will not be the Colton High School football coach for the 2011 season after the Colton Joint Unified School District’s school board decided to fly the position outside of the district at last night’s meeting.
“I applied for the job, as I have to do every year, and the school board last night decided to fly the job outside of the district,” Bray said. “I’m tired of the fighting and the lack of loyalty and I just don’t want to have to deal with it any longer.”
Being a campus security officer instead of a certificated teacher, Bray knew he had to reapply for the job every year due to the Rialto Rule, which states that an open position must be flown to certificated teachers within the school district before they can hire teachers or other personnel from outside of it. Bray knew that coming in, but didn’t expect the district to open up the job after no other in-district teacher applied and after the Yellowjackets won their first CIF-SS title since 1978.
“I understand that this was going to a yearly thing, having to reapply, because I am not a teacher, but once I saw that no teachers within the school district applied, I felt I was Ok,” Bray said. “It’s definitely a shock right now and I have a good idea of where it’s coming from, but I don’t want to name names.
“As loyal as myself and my staff have been, having the team in good academic standing, getting four kids scholarships to college, not to mention winning a championship, this is all a slap in the face. I’m done – they can find somebody else because apparently my staff and I didn’t do everything they wanted.
“Right now it’s more anger than anything else. It’s my way of letting people know that I’m tired of the fighting. I had to apply three separate times for this position last year because they kept adopting new rules. I’m tired of fighting it. We worked our butts off, our kids have worked their butts off in the classroom and on the field and our parents have been great. I thought we did the right thing, but I guess it wasn’t good enough.”
Having been born and raised in Colton and been an assistant for the Yellowjackets from 1985-2009 – minus a four-year hiatus – before taking the head coaching job from Harold Strauss, Bray is admittedly devastated with today’s news and can’t imagine the possiblity of going to coach for another school.
“I’m a Colton guy and I love this job,” Bray said. “I was born and raised here and have been coaching at Colton since 1985. I don’t want to go anywhere else.”