San Marino High School football coach and assistant principal Mike Mooney said on Tuesday that he has been placed on administrative leave by the school, but declined to comment why.
Also on Tuesday, San Marino superintendent Gary Woods and high school principal Loren Kleinrock put out a letter to team parents saying that Mooney had in fact resigned, but did not say why. Kleinrock’s letter said that Mooney’s departure had “NO connection to any external complaint or criticism.”
Mooney says he has not resigned from either position — assistant principal or head football coach. Kleinrock is expected to coach the football team on an interim basis.
Parents were invited to attend a meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria to discuss the direction of the program. San Marino is currently 2-4 and just lost its Rio Hondo League opener to Temple City last Friday night.
Mooney, who was an assistant coach last season, took over as head coach in April 2009 after former coach D.R. Moreland resigned in March.
San Marino gave Mooney his first head coaching job in 1996. Mooney left in 1998 to become head coach at Temple City. Mooney left Temple City in 2006 to return to San Marino as an assistant principal with the option to coach, something Temple City would not afford him if he wanted to be an administrator. Mooney, a 1988 graduate of Temple City, played at USC between ’88-’93.
Aram Tolegian, Miguel Melendez and Fred Robledo contribunted to this report.
San Marino Unified School District Superintendent Gary Woods issued an official statement on Wednesday, confirming that San Marino High School vice-principal and varsity football coach Mike Mooney has in fact been placed on administrative leave. This is all Woods was at liberty to share.
“Mr. Mooney has been placed on administrative leave,” Woods said. “Because it’s a personnel issue, we really can’t comment any further.”
Woods also confirmed that principal Loren Kleinrock will coach the football team on an interim basis.
Mike Mooney maintained all along that he never resigned his position as vice principal or football coach.
An email sent by Woods and Kleinrock to parents of the Titans football team was obtained by this newspaper on Tuesday, which read as follows:
Dear Parents of San Marino High School Football Players:
As you may already know, Mr. Mike Mooney has stepped down as Varsity Football Coach. We are not allowed to comment on the specifics.
We would like to invite you to a parent meeting (Wednesday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.) in the high school cafeteria. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the plan to move forward for the remaining weeks of the season.
Please understand, Mr. Mooney’s departure has NO connection to any external complaint or criticism.
Sincerely, Loren Kleinrock and Gary Woods.