Muir head coach Ken Howard charged with misdemeanor battery, remains on leave …

Muir football coach Ken Howard was charged with misdemeanor battery on Thursday. Here is the story from the Star-News.

Aram’s take: Keep in mind that Howard is only “charged” and not convicted. But it sounds like this is going to get real ugly, with talk of federal law suits. I just don’t see Howard surviving this situation. And just reading between the lines, it sounds like the school has somewhat left Howard out to dry on this. The article says Howard was not on-staff at the school, but yet he’s on administrative leave? How does that add up? Is he only on leave as a football coach? And if he’s not on staff, then what’s he doing on campus? Odd. Anyway, Howard has always been great to myself and the Star-News as far as access to the program. Hopefully this thing resolves well for all parties concerned, but I get the feeling you can add Howard to the ever-growing list of coaches who resigned or were let go recently for a myriad of circumstances. Like I said in a column last year, these coaches are walking on eggshells with the ways things are now. These are the times we live in.

  • X’s and O’s

    This is absolute BS!!!!! So someone steps up and takes care of a situation that was possibly dangerous and he gets punished. He should be applauded. If he wasn’t a district employee, then why did the administrators ask him to conduct the search? I know why, because he was the most qualified to do it and they knew that he would get the job done. This is the case on many campuses. You need something done, ask a football coach. Well if this is going to happen, then districts better start stepping up and paying their coaches a hell of a lot more as opposed to the teachers who are driving out of the parking lot running over kids at 3 pm and could careless about the kids.

  • Anonymous

    Aram,

    In terms of Howard being on campus this situation sucks. He was very effective even though he was technically no longer a security guard. A few years ago the district mandated that in order to work for the district you had to have a HS diploma or a GED and he didn’t, so he was let go. But because his wife still worked at the school and the school knew how effective he was on campus he was allowed to volunteer as a security guard, since he was an actual security guard for so long. It worked because he was still the coach and had a lot of respect from the kids and teachers on campus, but still technically not a district employee. He was essentially a walk-on coach (paid by a stipend) who volunteered on campus. He was at the school every single day and was the de facto head of security because all of the other security guards looked up to him since he’d done it for so long. The WEAK administration loved having him on campus because he was so good at what he did. This situation should be stuck on them, not him. They not only allowed it, they promoted it. This is ALL on them. I know it sounds like a weird situation, it is, but that’s how it was set up.

    Now, as far as the football side of this, since this is a football blog, let me put it like this: THIS IS THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO MUIR SINCE THEY WON CIF IN 1990. That is not an overstatement. Coach Howard was a very bad coach. Honestly, he wasn’t a coach at all. Ask any of the area coaches who have played Muir in the past 6 years and they’ll all tell you. He hired assistant coaches who basically ran the team while he was just the figurehead. He missed practices, film sessions, coaches meetings, and overreacted with disciplinary efforts that ruined practices whenever he got mad when the locker room wasn’t clean. He didn’t know what offense the team ran, or what defense the team ran because he didn’t bother to learn it. He didn’t care since the assistants did all the work anyway. If this had happened at any other school people would be up in arms. Actually this wouldn’t have happened at any other school because most other schools have administrators who are actually aware of what is going on. The administrators at Muir didn’t care because they were getting a FREE service on campus! That was more important to them than the football side of things. With all the athletes Muir has they are going to win games and go to the playoffs every year. To the admin, that was success. Enough success to justify keeping him as a head coach, and more importantly, a FREE security guard. And a GREAT security guard at that. There are people in Pasadena who refused to send their kids to Muir because Coach Howard was the head coach, and they were well aware of the fact that he was not a real coach at all. He was a Pop Warner coach, and even then he was a bad coach. These people know that, and they refused to have their kids play for Muir because of that. There was an overall lack of “program” at the school, and many really good teams suffered because of this. So this situation is two-fold, it’s sucks because he is not on campus as a great security guard, but awesome because Muir can now go and get a real football coach.

  • Heyanonymous

    Well, basically, Lou Farrar is just a figurehead at Charter Oak. So is Joe Paterno at Penn State. They haven’t x’d and O’d a game in years. But they stay at the school because the kids and supporters respect them, and they surround themselves with good coaches. You’re right, Muir’s not an ordinary place, it’s an unorthodox situation, but Howard taking care of the “disciplinary” side of Muir football is probably just as important as what his assistants do for the football team. It’s not like comparing, say, a San Marino to Muir. Different set of circumstances altogether. And why you would say getting rid of him is the best move since 1990 I don’t get at all. There wasn’t a successful coach at Muir 10 years before Ken took over either. and bottom line, the record under ken’s watch, the fact his teams never lost to PHS, speaks volumes to running a program — I agree, he’s not an x’s and o’s guy, but he ran a program that fought for league titles every year, and beat PHS, every year.

  • Coach Slayer

    X&0: While entitled to your opinion your generalizations are stunning. Perhaps some teachers speed out at 3pm but many, many more are staying late helping students in alot of other pursuits than just football. While volunteers like this coach are wonderful they must realize they are just helpers thus subject to less and more scrutiny depending on the circumstances. Again not knowing the mitigating circumstances, it sounds like he fell into the self-importance trap. It makes little difference that he proved he could get the job done, he forgot that it was not really his job and that he was not really an employee.If you are just a volunteer and a admin asks you to jump off a bridge do you still say ,”okay how high”.Further more the possibility of paying high school coaches what their worth is totally nuts in the current economic environment. The truth is that walk-on coaches at all levels are coming on board. Pioneer just hired a walk-on varsity boys basketball coach and there are at least 12 other local schools set to hire walk-ons in the area. That is what is coming as I’ve posted on this subject for sometime. Private schools that value coaching and pay accordingly will continue to outpace public in both performance and end results. They need to be in a league and division by themselves.I think a fairer rationale for leaguing would be how much money a school has rather than how large the student population. If Amat wants to play top competition let them, and quit scheduling the Garfields which has zero chance to WIN but maybe once every 50 years.

  • X’s and O’s

    Coach Slayer,

    Your comment is absolutely correct and I was off base. The vast majority of teachers are unbelievably great people who deserve so much more than what they receive. However, I do feel that a high school coach puts in more time and effort in his craft than a high school teacher especially when you take into consideration pay/benefits/retirement, etc.

    I guess what I’m saying is that coaches do so much for society for very little and I mean very little. There are coaches out there who literally sacrafice their personal lives for the kids. Teaching is a job and a noble one at that, but coaching is something on a completely different level.

    Now when it comes to Coach Howard, sure he may not have been employed by the district, BUT he did what he felt was THE RIGHT THING! And you’re crazy if you think that the admin didn’t know that Howard would do the right think. I just think it sucks that a man as dedicated as himself becomes a scapegoat. I hope and pray that all of this comes to a truly justified ending for Coach Howard which would mean that the charges are dropped

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