While the Rialto High School has been getting its new football coach, Robert Mitchell, approved by the school board, athletic director Dan Williams has been out due to injuries suffered in an altercation at the school Jan. 7.
“Mr. Williams was a victim of a phsyical act that was committed in front of witnesses that included students,” Rialto Unified School District Communications Director Syeda Jafri said. “He is healing from his injuries that he sustained in the altercation. The suspect was trespassing and had no formal authorization or formal approval to use the school’s athletic field.”
Jafri said the incident was being investigated by San Bernardino PD, which has jurisdiction over the campus and Williams was not on administrative leave.
San Bernardino PD confirmed there is an ongoing investigation in the incident. A spokesperson indicated that Williams was trying to clear a field for a game. A non-student adult who was there with children confronted Williams. He punched Williams in the face several times, causing a concussion.
Williams declined to comment on the incident other than to confirm that he was not at school last week.
Dan Williams stepped away as Rialto High athletic director three years ago to spend time away from his family, now he’s paying it back.
Kevin Gilbreth has stepped down as Rialto A.D., as his football-playing son Cameron, is a freshman at Cajon High. Williams, 54, who had served in the position from 2008-2012, agreed to return. Gilbreth said he will be an assistant baseball coach at the school.
“I had conversations with the principal about it,” Williams said. “I knew what I was getting myself into. If I wasn’t going to do it, would someone else do an adequate job? That was my main reason.”
His wife supported him in the decision.
In Williams’ return, his focus is on the student portion of the student-athlete.
“One of my main goals is to make sure they graduate and stay eligible and go on to college,” he said. “We have had kids go to state, and I’d like to experience that again.”
Williams has coached football, wrestling, track and field, cross country and badminton during his career. In returning as athletic director, he is having to drop his position as head badminton coach and is seeking his replacement.
Williams got into teaching later than some, so he said he might have a decade before he can retire.
“I don’t have a lot more years to go,” he said. “I was thinking, ‘If I come back in, my plan is to ride it out (as A.D.).’”