Bray out as Colton football coach

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.”

  • Colton Pride on Bordwell and La Cadena

    I only hope that someone with authority gets to the bottom of this and maybe can get Coach Bray back where he belongs. Can someone cut through the red-tape to safe the integrity of our city.

  • Bob

    This is totally unfair. I have met Coach Bray and he is a genuine leader and head coach. Colton won a CIF Championship and kids are doing better in school, what else could he do?

    Colton is the school that had a student walk out a few year ago, right? POOR leadership in the district. There are no rules about doing things right. He just did it ALL right, ALL the time. Bray will be missed. Maybe Bloomington could use a quality guy like Bray?

  • Eric

    To T.J. Berka, As a concerned citizen of the Colton Joint Unified School District I am writing you with the hopes that you would continue to cover this story as it evolves. Parental inquiries towards board members have yielded no tangible answers. Coach Bray has been a pillar of stability in the community as a Football Coach since 1985, he has continued to give of himself as a volunteer for over a quarter century. He served as an assistant coach the entire time. In 2011 he was hired as the Head Coach, where he led the team to it’s first CIF Championship in 33 years. He was the only employee CERTIFIED or CLASSIFIED in the district to apply for the position,yet that was evidently that was not satisfactory for the publicly elected school board. They continued to seek out additional applicants for the 2012 season. The school board intends to select and announce the Head Football Coach for the 2012 season at there next scheduled meeting on May 5th 2011 5:30pm at the CJUSD student service center at 851 S. Mt. Vernon Avenue
    Colton, CA 92324 on behalf of the Citizens of the Colton Joint Unified School District I would like to invite you to attend this event first hand cover this breaking news in local sports journalism.