Former Diamond Ranch assistant coach says Roddy Layton, Panthers coaching staff, scouted using Diamond Bar’s Hudl account …

Former Diamond Ranch High School assistant football coach Matt Johnson says that he, along with former Panthers head coach Roddy Layton and other members of the coaching staff, accessed rival Diamond Bar’s account in order to gain an advantage before last fall’s rivalry game.

Johnson, a 2008 graduate of Diamond Ranch and captain on the Panthers’ ’07 team, said Layton and his staff obtained Diamond Bar’s Hudl log-in information from a former Brahmas player who transferred to Diamond Ranch last fall and used it to scout the week leading up to a 34-20 win on Oct. 18, 2013.

“We were actually watching their practices (on Hudl),” Johnson said. “We were watching what they were planning on doing to us. Roddy said we can’t tell anybody. He said let’s just watch it and see what happens. I was there. I’m not trying to spare myself. I was in there.”

Layton resigned last Friday, a move that he defended by saying it had been in the works for a while. Meanwhile, the Pomona Unified School District is conducting an investigation into Johnson’s allegations, which came to light three weeks ago when Diamond Bar sent a letter to Diamond Ranch and later to the CIF-Southern Section office.

Johnson, who is now at Diamond Bar and is in the process of becoming an assistant coach on the Brahmas varsity coaching staff, came forward with the information to former Diamond Bar head coach Ryan Maine and athletic director Kurt Davies. has become a popular resource for coaches who can store game video, practice video and notes used for game preparation.

Diamond Ranch won the game played on Oct. 18, 2013 by a score of 34-20. The night was marred by a brawl that led to the suspensions of players from both teams in following weeks. Diamond Ranch later won the Hacienda League with a 6-0 record. Diamond Bar forfeited its following game against Rowland due to a lack of eligible players.

A copy of the letter sent by Diamond Bar to CIF and Diamond Ranch includes a report from that shows a significant spike in user activity for a certain log-in during the week of the game.

Layton has denied ever logging into Diamond Bar’s Hudl account, but Johnson tells a much different story. Johnson said that during the week of the game he sat in Layton’s classroom along with the then head coach and other members of the staff while the group watched video Diamond Bar uploaded of that week’s practices.

“It changed the whole game,” Johnson said. “With the Hudl film, we knew — off of alignments, or where they were standing, or the signals he was giving — what was coming.

“It was like the third play after halftime and we threw a 60-yard bomb to score. All that stuff was called specifically because we knew their tendencies. I wasn’t a play caller, but we called specific plays in specific times because we knew what they were trying to do.

“When they were backed up on the goal line, we saw in practice what they were going to run. So what do we do? We bring the house and their quarterback gets hit, drops the ball and we score a touchdown.”

When told about Johnson’s accusations on Thursday, Layton said they stem from Johnson not getting an on-campus job at Diamond Ranch and not being made the varsity football team’s linebackers coach.

One thing Layton and Johnson can agree on was that Layton’s resignation, which came awfully late in the offseason, was planned long ago. Diamond Ranch was toward the end of spring practice when Layton stepped down and pulled out of a scheduled appearance in last week’s Charter Oak Spring Passing Showcase Tournament.

Prior to Layton’s resignation, Johnson informed his former coach that he was leaving to take a coaching position at Diamond Bar. That’s when Johnson, a recipient of two Purple Hearts for combat injuries he suffered in Afghanistan and Iraq as a member of the United States Army, started receiving what he described as threatening text messages from Diamond Ranch coaching staff members.

“The threats ranged from kicking my ass to coming to my house,” Johnson said. “My phone records show that at like 2 in the morning, my phone goes crazy with text messages. Once all the threats started and everyone decided to show me their true colors, that’s when I decided to roll on people.

“I’ve kept all the text messages because I just want to have something so if that something ever happened to me, I could say ‘look this is pre-meditated. This is not just a reaction’. I’m not afraid of a fight. I’m a military veteran. But it’s just not worth it to me.”

Layton said he’s heard the same complaint from Johnson, but could not confirm the existence of any such text messages.

Johnson played fullback and linebacker for Layton in 2007, a season that ironically ended in controversy when the Panthers who were 7-3 on the field saw their record turned to 2-8 because of forfeited victories due to an ineligible player.

Following his military career, Johnson returned to the area to pursue a career in coaching. Johnson coached at Diamond Ranch last season at the junior varsity level and was the varsity special teams coach.

After an article earlier this week brought Diamond Bar’s allegations to light, Johnson said Layton called him and the two spoke for two hours. It’s a conversation Layton admits took place.

“He called me two nights ago when all these articles started popping up and asked ‘What did I do to you?'” Johnson said. “We talked for two hours. I told him this is what you did to me, this is what your coaching staff did to me. I planned on leaving 100 percent, no problem, and then you wanted to dig and dig and push.

“If I’d have said I was going to any other school but Diamond Bar, this wouldn’t be a problem. It’s not my agenda to go and make anyone look terrible. Layton did resign. He wasn’t forced out, but all this other stuff is still true, too.”

FOOTBALL PLAYOFF GROUPING PROPOSALS: Rio Hondo League to appeal its proposed placement in the Central Division …


The landscape of the CIF-Southern Section football playoffs are about to get a major face lift.

The Southern Section office released its playoff grouping proposals for 2014-16 on Tuesday morning and things figure to look a whole lot different this fall if they’re passed into reality later this month.

It starts at the top where the Pac-5 Division will see the Big VIII League moved in to beef up the competition for teams like Corona Centennial. The rest of the division includes the Moore, Marmonte, and Trinity leagues, and a yet-to-be named Catholic league that includes several traditional powers.

The Central Division got a major overhaul. The newly formed Palomares League will join the Hacienda, Sunkist, Mt. Baldy and Rio Hondo leagues. That means a steep rise in class is coming for area powerhouse Monrovia, which is coming off a dominating run in the Mid-Valley Division where it won three consecutive division championships between 2010-12.

Unfortunately, the rest of the Rio Hondo League, which has lagged far behind Monrovia in recent years, will also be getting bumped up. Monrovia athletic director Randy Bell said the league will appeal the proposal based on competitive equity and enrollment.

Leagues can appeal the proposals to the playoff grouping appeals committee and a meeting to handle appeals will be held by the Southern Section on May 28.

“There are some high quality and very good football programs in that division,” first-year Monrovia coach Brett Stevens said. “I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were going to be moving up, but I just didn’t know how high or where.

“It’s going to be a challenge. We welcome the challenge. We’re looking forward to moving up, but that is a significant jump going from the old Division 11 to Division 5.”

The new-look Central would be a boon for area fans who are likely to see some intriguing combinations of local teams square off in the postseason. It will also mean a return to a more realistic division for Glendora, which languished in the Baseline League and Inland Division the past several years.

The Tartans are now in the Palomares League and could see a return to local prominence on the gridiron, especially with the top quarterback in the area in Matt Fink around for the next two years.

“You look at our league and you’ve to play well every week just to make the playoffs,” Tartans head coach Jerry Lewallen said. “Then you look at the division, and there’s some great football programs in there.”

St. Francis saw its chances at championship glory get a boost. The Knights and the rest of the new-look Mission League are slated to join the Southeast Division to battle against the Pacific, Suburban, San Gabriel Valley and Del Rio leagues.

In the last two months, St. Francis has gone from thinking it might be placed in the Pac-5 Division to now being placed in a much more doable situation in the Southeast. This offseason, the Knights have also seen powerhouses Serra and Chaminade vacate the Mission League for the Pac-5.

“It’s not like it’s going to be a walk in the park,” St. Francis coach Jim Bonds said. “I still think there are some pretty darn good football teams in that division. La Serna beat Westlake two years in a row. Compton Domiguez, you never know how strong they’re going to be. La Mirada beat us at their place two years ago.

“For us to say it’s our division and we’re going to win several CIF titles the next several years is not very smart.”

San Dimas’ prospects of winning another Mid-Valley Division championship improved with the exodus of Monrovia and the Rio Hondo League. Over the past years, the Mid-Valley has either been won by Monrovia and San Dimas, and with the Wildcats no longer around that could mean a huge run is looming for the Saints.

San Dimas now looks like perennial favorites in a division that is likely to be comprised of the Almont, Gold Coast, Montview, Mission Valley, Miramote and Valle Vista leagues.

“I want to see how far we can take this thing,” San Dimas head coach Bill Zernickow said. “I kinda liked the rivalry with Monrovia. That was always a motivating factor for our guys. Paraclete is still going to be good. And I think Pomona has gotten real good, too. We have to contend with that.”

Roddy Layton OUT as head coach at Diamond Ranch as accusations swirl that Diamond Ranch hacked into Diamond Bar’s Hudl account during week of rivalry game …


Roddy Layton resigned late last week as Diamond Ranch High School varsity football head coach as accusations swirl that the Panthers coaching staff hacked into rival Diamond Bar’s Hudl account to obtain important scouting information during the week of their game, which was played on Oct. 18, 2013.

Layton said his resignation is not related to a letter obtained by this publication and sent to the CIF-Southern Section last week by Diamond Bar that alleges Diamond Ranch coaches obtained Diamond Bar’s account information on Hudl and used video archives and notes to help prepare for the game.

Diamond Ranch won the game 34-20, but the night was marred by a benches-clearing brawl that led to the suspensions of several players from both teams. Diamond Bar forfeited its following game because it could not field a team. Diamond Ranch went on to win the league with a perfect 6-0 record.

CIF informed Diamond Bar that the hacking accusations are a league matter. Hacienda League principals are expected to discuss the situation in a regularly scheduled meeting this week.

In the letter, Diamond Bar documents a steep rise in clicks or hits on its Hudl page the week of the game. has become a popular resource for coaches who can store game video, practice video and notes used for game preparation. According to the letter, a former Diamond Ranch coach came forward to Ryan Maine, Diamond Bar’s head coach at the time, about the hacking.

Diamond Bar’s account information was allegedly leaked by a varsity football player who gave it to a Diamond Ranch junior varsity player, who then forwarded it to Layton. After hearing the allegations, Maine and Diamond Bar athletic director Kurt Davies contacted Hudl to obtain a usage report for their team account during the week of the game.

Hudl’s response was included in the letter obtained by this publication and showed that its system had received 26 separate log-ins from a particular user ID during the week of the game compared to an average of six log-ins from that same user ID during all other weeks.

Layton had a record of 48-47 in eight seasons. He guided Diamond Ranch to back-to-back CIF Southeast Division championship game appearances in 2008-09. Diamond Ranch won the Hacienda League last season and shared the title in 2012.

Rumors flew last week about Layton’s resignation. When contacted on Thursday afternoon, Layton informed this publication that he was still the head coach. Layton resigned on Friday afternoon and sent a email out to player’s parents but didn’t go into detail about reasons for his departure.

Layton played for Ganesha High and later enjoyed a college career at USC. He was an assistant coach at Mount San Antonio College before becoming the head coach at Diamond Ranch. The Panthers were scheduled to participate in Saturday’s Charter Oak Spring Passing Showcase but were a late scratch.