UPDATED, 11:01 p.m.: Former St. Paul coach Elijah Asante issued the following statement late Wednesday night: “I’m thankful for the opportunity to coach at St. Paul. Although it wasn’t a long tenure, I learned a lot from the players and the community. I’m grateful and I wish them good luck. They have the makings of a good team.”
St. Paul High School has fired football coach Elijah Asante, according to a statement by the school and obtained by this newspaper late Wednesday.
Asante was in his first season as head coach of the Swordsmen. He will be replaced by athletic director Casey Morales, who will serve as the interim coach for the remainder of the season. St. Paul is 1-5 overall and 0-1 in the Mission League.
When contacted late Wednesday, Asante said he was not aware of the school’s decision but had heard rumors and was waiting to speak with school principal Kate Aceves. He confirmed he was not at practice on Wednesday.
Asante replaced legend Marijon Ancich, who left the school as the second-winningest coach in California history. Prior to St. Paul, Asante was at City Section power Carson for two seasons where he led the Colts to back-to-back Division City Section championship game appearances.
Asante also beat Southland juggernaut Mater Dei twice in his two seasons at Carson. Although the Swordsmen have just one win this season, they have played one of the toughest schedules in the Southern Section with games against Servite, Mater Dei and Bishop Amat.
Upon arriving at St. Paul, Asante attracted several high-impact transfers to the Santa Fe Springs campus, most notably junior running back Kurt Scoboy, who starred at Charter Oak last season before leaving for Duarte and later St. Paul.
Asante will remain as a teacher at St. Paul for the duration of the school year.
St. Paul started Mission League play last week with a 44-11 loss to Harvard-Westlake. The Swordsmen host Chaminade on Friday.