UPDATE: Bonita boys basketball coach Greg Eckler quit after halftime wrestling incident

By Fred Robledo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
MONDAY UPDATE: Bonita boys basketball coach Greg Eckler, who abruptly resigned on Friday after 12 years in charge, asked players to wrestle as a form of discipline during halftime of a 43-40 loss to Diamond Bar on Jan. 8, resulting in a minor head injury to one of the players, according to Bonita Unified Assistant Superintendent Curtis Frick.
The injury was not serious and the player returned to play the second half, explained Frick.
After parents complained to school officials the following day about what allegedly took place, Eckler opted to resign when confronted by school officials. Eckler could not be reached for comment.

Bonita

FRIDAY’S BREAKING NEWS …
By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter

Greg Eckler, who built the Bonita High School boys basketball team into one of the top programs in the Valley, has resigned as head coach, citing personal reasons.
Assistant coaches Mark Shores, Randy Bell and Mark Miller will direct the team, which played a Hacienda League game at Rowland on Friday night.
“For personal reasons, coach Greg Eckler has chosen to resign his coaching position at Bonita High School,” Bonita athletic director Eric Podley said in a statement released by the school. “We would like to thank coach Eckler for his 12 years of coaching at Bonita High School. We appreciate his dedication and leadership of the program. He has helped to make Bonita basketball one of the premier programs in the Valley. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Eckler, who was hired prior to the 2001-02 season, won six league titles over the past eight seasons, including the past three Hacienda League crowns, winning 35 of 36 games. Bonita, which also won the Miramonte League twice during his tenure, had won 28 consecutive league games before the streak was snapped with a 51-40 loss at Diamond Ranch last January.
The Bearcats were 12-3 going into Friday night’s game at Rowland. They had opened league play with a 43-40 loss to Diamond Bar at home on Wednesday.

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  • golo

    Been watching Eckler rip into great kids for years !! He was worth the $5 to watch him flip his lid Every game but I wouldn’t let my kids play for him!! Surprised he lasted this long!!

    • whosurpapa

      Eckler is a great coach and I have watched him for years. Many disagree with his style, but he always demands the best from his players and most of the time he gets just that. Although he probably regrets some things he has done and it cost him his position, you cannot deny he is a winner and made the Bonita basketball program strong. He is teaching basketball, but he is also trying to teach these boys to become men in the process. They boys will learn to thicken their skin… some parents need to learn that as well.

      • The Observer

        He is a very good coach but he has started crossing the line in terms of conduct. He was not terminated. He quit rather than learn to control his actions and his mouth. It was becoming an embarrassment to the school, the team, and the fans. Some kid was bound to be hurt. You would never see Dunn, Leduc, Hamlow, or any of the other fine coaches treat their players with complete disrespect.

      • disgusted

        ok

  • inland_1

    Really? If he was that bad, he wouldn’t have lasted this long. What happened, jr wasn’t the next Kobe and rode the pine?

    • The Observer

      What happened is Mr Tough Guy couldn’t control his temper anymore and the powers that be said clean up or get out. The bully took a walk. Someone was bound to get hurt by his antics and enough was enough. QUITTER!

      • reality

        Any other parents lining up with observer?

    • The Living Legend

      if hadn’t done the halftime incident that got a kid hurt he would still be coaching. I am not a parent or have any attachment to Bonita High School. The kid who got hurt during the halftime incident did get playing time, so that argument is thrown out the window.

      • laverne

        very little

        • The Living Legend

          yeah he is only a sophomore, and he is receiving playing time. once again your argument is mute on that point.

  • laverne

    inland_1 you said it correct!!!

  • Lupe

    I’m sure this thread will get ugly, but I’ve seen Eckler coach countless times. I would let and want him to coach my kids any day.. I guess the La Verne mommy & daddys ” WIN ” another one.

    • The Observer

      If you want your kid coached by someone who is going to call him every name in the four letter word book, be my guest. A bully is a bully. What happens when you challenge a bully? He quits and crawls away like the wimp he really is. Keep crawling coach. Who’s the coward now?

    • disgusted

      really? maybe you should try being in the locker room with him and then tell us if you’d want him to coach your kids. HA!

  • In the know!

    What he had a couple of players do at Half time in locker room on Wednesday .vs Diamond Bar true, It was probably going to get worse if he stuck around. Bad idea from coach, Hope he understands and learns from it.

    • ep

      Whats that? Dont be the kid who says. I have a secret but wont tell it.

  • Mr G

    SHOCKING NEWS!! So the area loses another GREAT coach!! I also have been watching him coach for years, Never mistake passion and intensity for flipping one’s lid. His demands on the court were only surpassed by his demands in the classroom.
    Wish my grand kids could have been exposed to his style of coaching and leadership. He will be missed.

    • The Observer

      He won’t be missed by the kids he belittles everyday. As a role model his parents should be ashamed. Maybe he can latch on with Rutgers and throw things at East Coast kids. Quitter!

      • disgusted

        totally agree, The Observer! Anyone who thinks he’s such a great coach/guy needs to know what really happened and has been happening behind closed doors….what happens on the court is NOTHING compared to what happens in the locker room. Unless you do know, shut your mouf

  • reality

    I wish parents that interfere with a high school coach to the point that it makes him quit would then be made to coach the team themselves. Coaches make mistakes in dealing with kids all the time but parents should think a bit before blowing something out of proportion. It ain’t no picnic coaching teenage boys at a public school.

    • The Observer

      You obviously don’t know the situation. The parents had nothing to do with this. He was not asked to resign. He walked because he was asked to clean up his language and some of his coaching methods. He’d rather quit on his players than tone down his act. Typical bully.

      • Lupe

        LOL..parents had nothing to do w/ it. You don’t think Ketterling and Podely’s phone was ringing off the hook on Thurs. morning. Since you want to throw around names like coward come forward and say which kid is yours tough guy. Don’t say you aren’t a parent. i think we would all bit a bit of money on that.

      • laverne

        The parents are the one’s who called the school to report it. If you’re one of them, stop hiding under a rock and stand up. You coward!

        • The Living Legend

          actually your wrong, two school officials after seeing the aftermath of the halftime incident started an investigation. they then got the parents involved.

          • laverne

            no 2 parents called the school first thing in the morning. then the kids were called in

  • The Observer

    Time for a change. His tough guy act had gotten old and when challenged by the bosses to clean up his act, what does the guy who calls kids coward do? He quits on his team mid season. It shows his true colors. No amount of wins can make up for being out of line. Quitter!

  • Mister Basketball

    While I have zero knowledge of the events that led to Greg Eckler’s resignation, I will say that in all of my years of knowing the young man, he was an absolute class act both on and off the basketball court.

    Truth be told, in today’s world, there is a fine line in the teaching, coaching and mentoring philosophies and principles of young athletes, as well as young students, specifically as to what is deemed acceptable or unacceptable. Old school philosophies and principles that were the backbone of our upbringing, and that have proven to be effective over the years are now ridiculed. This is especially evident in parenting, whereas many parents rely on teachers/coaches to rear their own children, only to chastise them for how they do it in the end.

    I, for one, believe that stern discipline, teaching, coaching and mentoring principles and philosophies at earlier stages our lives, when contained and proper nurturing is present, are the most fundamental keys to paving the way to success in our later years.

    Make no mistake, and put the record of the Bonita program aside, it is with absolute certainty that Greg Eckler, in twelve years, has positively touched the lives of young students and athletes than most of us reading this column will ever do in our entire lives.

    • Scout

      Actually those tough guy antics have proven to be extremely ineffective. Emotionally your generation has shown to be extremely inept and selfish, leading to the greatest economic crisis since the 1930′s. Great coaches demand discipline, but do not belittle their players. Jim Harbaugh is tough, but he is in no way a bully. Don’t mistake bullying for discipline. Don’t mistake losing your cool and having no control for passion.

      • Lupe

        Jim Harbaugh always has control and never loses his cool?? That’s laughable.

  • RR

    Mr. Observer,
    Did he call your boy a bad name? Are you going to respond to every post? Should every coach that uses foul language not be asked to coach anymore? Have you ever quit anything in your life? Most important, have you ever coached at the high school varsity level? Eckler must have been doing something right to pile up all the wins and championships with average basketball players. No coach is perfect all the time and I know he dedicated tons of time with no dime. With Glendora in the league next year and no Eckler, it will be a long time before the Bearcats post another league champion.

  • AramT

    Absolutely one of the best coaches around. Seems like he won the Hacienda League (or Miramonte) many years with the fourth-best talent. Very bad loss for the area.

    • The Living Legend

      really his own fault though. if he hadn’t done the half time thing during the game last week he would still be coaching.

  • FredJ

    Greg Eckler’s basketball record speaks for itself. You ask anyone in the SGV about him, especially other coaches, and they’ll tell you he gets more out of his kids than most. He also was very colorful to watch on the sidelines and I have written here in the past that sometimes his language was tough for some to deal with, but that was his way. As far as what ultimately led to his resignation Friday, I have an idea from tipsters but don’t want to speculate much further beyond that.

    • The Living Legend

      really Fred, I have talked to many coaches from around the area who think he is the biggest jerk in the valley. They think his tactics are questionable and the way he does business is unethical. I really question whether or not you have talked to coaches about Eckler or not.

      • FredJ

        Living, my comment was that other coaches have told me, and I agree, that he gets as much out of his kids than anyone. Now when it comes to his coaching style, you’re right, he’s not as popular. Two different things entirely.

        • inland_1

          Fred, unless you know something about living legend that we all don’t, why would you think for a second that one coach in the valley would speak to him about Eckler.

          • The Living Legend

            it is because he does know something about me pal

  • laverne

    Eckler is a good coach! and a great teacher who cares about all the young men getting good grades. While I don’t agree with everything he does, the bottom line is he wants the best for his players. Talk to his players. They miss him and want him back! Parents need to shut up! What are you going to do when your “baby” has a boss he doesn’t like? Are you going to call the workplace and complain. It was only becoming an embarrassment to the parents who live so far up the hill, they think they’re above the rest of us!!!!!! Come back to the real world. Money can only take you so far.

  • WizardofLV

    Eckler has always be arrogant and a jerk. There is no doubt he can coach but they guy needs a reality check. This is high school basketball. Not a class act. Bonita will be better for this. Something sounds fishy since its the middle of the season.

  • Steve Ramirez

    Sad day for area basketball. Wow, with all these comments, is it necessary to tell my Ron Rice-Eric Wattree story again?

    • inland_1

      It must be something about Northview basketball players and coaches.

      • Steve Ramirez

        Maybe it is, Inland_1. The problem with situations like this is that most parents look at the short term, not the long term. I wrote in the past of former Northview coach Ron Rice and alum Eric Wattree, who from my view to this day is most-dominant high school player from the area I’ve ever seen., Rice didn’t want Wattree to rest on his raw talent, so like all great coaches, he pushed him, and pushed him hard. So much to the level that Eric Wattree Sr. didn’t like how his son was being coached, so he pulled him out of Northview and transferred to L.A. Fremont. Now fast forward about 10 years when the elder Wattree wrote me a letter telling he wanted to apologize for his actions toward Ron Rice. By that time Eric has become a special forces member for the U.S. military, and in time of stress performing his duty, he relied on the principles Ron Rice had taught him, telling his father that The Coach made a difference in his life. This is what the coaches, teachers and mentors teach to learn not just about the game, but about life, and how to handle its hard punches. I’m sure Ron Rice passed on those principles to Greg Eckler, and judging by the player of above, who played under Eckler, who passed on those principles to his players. I think its a sad day that a coach/mentor like Eckler had leave. I don’t know why he left, but if he felt he couldn’t coach/teach his way, you have give him props for wanting to do it on his terms. It takes courage to walk away under those conditions. I wish him the best, and I’m sure he will wind up at other school, building or leading it to greatness.

        • Mr G

          Thanks Steve. I thought of your letter when this first occurred. I remember the sincerity of Mr. Wattree’s remarks toward Coach Rice.
          Coach Eckler was a sophomore starter Eric’s junior and last year at Northview.

        • disgusted

          This man is no mentor…”courage to walk away”??? he’s a pu**y, plain and simple. get your facts straight

    • Mister Basketball

      It’s a beautiful story of true leadeship that results in lifelong lessons , whether realized immediiately or years down the line, that empower young people to become true leaders themselves.

  • John Assefa

    The Observer,

    You sound like the typical whining @ss type of parent that floods Bonita High School athletics. Coach Eckler is the best thing that happened to Bonita Basketball! As an alumni of Bonita High School and a 4 year basketball player. I can tell you about the ups and down’s of Bonita Basketball the 3 years before Eckler became part of the Bonita program, and it was not pretty. My senior year in High School was Coach Eckler’s first year at Bonita, he was the Asst Coach of our team. I personally know that all of our players wished Eckler would have been the head coach of our team. After high school, I helped coach Bonita High School JV and Varsity levels when Eckler became the head coach. I learned so much under him, how to become a man in an unforgiving world was chief among the things I learned from him. Let’s fast forward to present day, though I am currently residing in Northern California, I always keep a tab on Bonita Basketball and Coach Eckler. It hurts my heart to know that he is no longer coaching the program. I don’t claim to know what happened or why it happened, but all I know is Coach Eckler is Bonita Basketball. He built that program into what it is today. I for one agree with his coaching style, that style makes me want to go out there and leave it all on the floor for him, and it elevated me to play up to my max potential. FYI the coaches on the college level don’t want scared kids and mommy’s boys playing for them, and if you don’t have tough skin you won’t last in College Basketball and that’s the honest truth. You look at all the great coaches, Coach K (Duke), Coach Self (Kansas), and Coach Calipari (Kentucky) they go hard on their kids every day in practice to get them to reach their max potential. Just because you see them in a suit and tie on game days, sitting there calm and relaxed does not mean they are not getting into them during practice or while watching game film. In ending I always thought Coach Eckler should have been a College Basketball Coach!! He is a winner, a teacher, a great human being inside and out, and the most important thing to me is he is a friend. For all you whining, entitled, non-athletic Bonita High parents living there high school years thru their kids. You all are no worse than Coach, you think trash talking on the internet about a person who just resigned is not a form of bullying than you are completely mistaken! Grow up and act you’re age and not your shoe size!!! This goes for all you internet keyboard bullies that have a personal issue with Coach, and bad mouth him. Why don’t you do us all a favor, and put your name behind it!!! Stop being the adult coward that you are and put your name on it. I know I am!

    John Assefa

    Bonita High School

    Class of ’01

    @golo, @The Observer, @The Living Legend, @WizardofLV, @Scout, @In the know!

    • inland_1

      Makes a statement with his name behind it, very well said. Living legend must be a somebody though, seeing how he has access to all the coaches.

      • The Living Legend

        did I get under your skin inland_1, it may be possible that I know a lot more people in this small valley then you know? Would it behoove you that I may even know Coach Eckler and he understands what other coaches think of him. No, that would be even to deep for you. I never said he wasn’t a good coach he did a great job with the talent he had, but his actions during halftime were inexcusable. If not for this lapse in judgement he would still be coaching at Bonita, I am pretty sure he would even tell you this.

        I really wish some of you would understand that there are people on here that know more then you.

    • The Observer

      Never heard of you.

      • Guest

        I have never heard of you either, but at least I am not scared to say my name. All you are is a ghost writer/internet keyboard tough guy. You’re a joke @disqus_EemKxtEVNC:disqus. I bet you never went to Bonita, but I bet your kid did or still does and I bet he was cut by Coach Eckler or from the lower levels from the Bonita Program, and that is why you have a personal vendetta against him. Sorry that “little observer” wasn’t the next superstar you thought he would be. I don’t have anymore time to waste on you “The Observer”

  • ep

    so what happened at halftime of the Dbar game?

  • fb102

    Manzo at Amat needs to make the call and check on Eckler’s interest to coach at Amat.

  • Don

    For the Bonita Basketball parents, I guess you never know what you have until it’s gone.

    Chase off Greg Eckler and a .500 Rowland squad smokes you in the 4th quarter 15 to 4. Faded late to a 5-12 D Bar team too . . . get used to it. Coach Eckler got soft little boys to play like warriors for years and took good athletes and prodded them to greatness.

    Speaking of which, Bob Ketterling and Pod’s would have NEVER heard whining from the households of the Zylstra’s, Brungard’s, Pendleton’s, Northrup’s, Abernathy’s, or Horine’s. They have too much class. Maybe some of them spoke to Greg man to man but surely never stabbed him in the back. You current crop, you deserve what you get. Enjoy it.

    • disgusted

      too much class? you’re an idiot! whining? Bonita is lucky they haven’t been hit with a big fat lawsuit yet because of Eckler’s “coaching” – ridiculous!

      • reality

        And another Laverne parent threatening a lawsuit. Get a life!!!!1

  • reality

    It seems like every year La Verne and San Dimas parents are trying to get some coach fired. Why? Are these coaches that bad? Are they getting rich? Are they molesting? Or are they just trying to do the best job they can. Anyway it seems every year the football, basketball and who’s next Knott? C,mon parents give it a rest.

  • Gpa

    Anybody heard of John Wooden ?

    • http://sgvtribune.com/ Galileo

      and Sam Gilbert did all of JWs dirty work

      • Gpa

        Was Gilbert there when Wooden accomplished a record of 218-42 coaching high school for 11 years in Kentucky and Indiana ?

      • AMAT 73

        Galileo,
        And what type of dirty work are you speaking of ?????

        • http://sgvtribune.com/ Galileo

          Sam supplied all the perks for the players…including the abortion bill for the girls they got pregnant…he was a shady,sinister character on many levels and JW turned a blind eye…think Penn St …don’t believe me? google sammy boy…you’ll have some interesting reading !

          • Sir Asaac Newton

            FYI – the Abortion Pill wasn’t invented until 1980 and unavailable to the American public for several years there after. John Wooden retired in 1975

          • http://sgvtribune.com/ Galileo

            abortion bill….IE he paid the bill…google Sammy…I’m not making this up…..JW just turned a blind eye….Gilbert passed out money to the players and had unfettered access 24/7….a dirty secret exposed

          • Sir Asaac Newton

            Gotcha on the bill not the pill. However, Gilbert is no secret. He got UCLA on probation in the early 1980′s and was banned from access to the program. But did you know that Gilbert was also involved in the USC Football program in the 1970′s?

  • Lupe

    small cut .not a gash, maybe…..maybe a bad decision … ….IT was an accident !!! I would pay money tomorrow to have Coach Eckler coach my kids. I know about 4 letter words…. AND I KNOW RUSSELL

  • Bearcat44

    Heard Ketterling’s son, Jeremy is a prime candidate. He is an alumni and had done great work at San Dimas. Bonita would be silly not to hire him.

  • laverne

    if it was so bad, Ketterling was at every game and saw/heard what was being said to the team. Why doesn’t he quit also

  • apachejoe

    These are probably the same parents who demanded a second tryout for their little baby who was cut from the baseball team because he wasn’t feeling 100%.. Or those parents who transfer because the kids was cut. I laugh at the Bonita parents who get so upset because little Joey was cut from Baseball.. I’ve got news for ya,, Little League Allstars doesn’t mean squat..

  • coachbilly

    I don’t think there is any question that Eckler knows basketball or made an impact at Bonita in many ways. But in this day and age of “sue happy parents” the school made a decision that was probably in their best interest. Eckler had to make the decision to step down or lose his teaching job, thus financial set back.
    His decisions at half time probably weren’t the right ones but all anyone can do from this point on is move forward.
    Good luck to all…

  • Bonita Fan

    Fred / Aram / Steve – you guys all know what happened. He had 2 kids wrestle at halftime to toughen them up and one of them cut their head open. How can ANYONE condone this type of coaching. There is no room for it in HS athletics. This does not make parents crybabies or mean that that kids need thicker skin. This was a bush league move by a bully. To make things worse, he wasn’t going to get fired….when Bonita asked him to refrain from hurting kids and, quite likely, a few other conditions, he chose to QUIT on the same kids he hurt instead of manning up, taking responsibility, and doing the right thing. Not sure how you guys, as reporters, can not stand up and report the truth.

    • FredJ

      Story is updated with what happened. I heard the speculation over the weekend too, but couldn’t follow up until today after speaking with a district official who confirmed the wrestling incident.

    • Sad Bearcat

      There is no room for wrestling in high school athletics? Tell that to the Bonita wrestling team, or any other high school for that matter. This wrestling exercise is something that has been going on for a while in practice and has been known about. Maybe some of you parents didn’t know about it because your kids didn’t deem it important enough to mention. Coach Eckler is simply trying to find a way to toughen his players up. As a former coach, I do not agree with how he tried to achieve this but I understand what he is trying to do. He is trying to take soft kids who have been babied and coddled and told how great they are their whole lives and turn them into tough, accountable young men who won’t be pushed around on or off the court. And as a parent don’t you want that for your son? I know a lot of people out there don’t agree with his style of coaching, myself included, but you have to admit that it worked for him. Now administration is forced to act because little Johnny got a boo boo? What was Eckler supposed to do? Completely change his coaching philosophy that has a proven track record of success? As a coach, if you completely change your style and try to be someone that your not then you become transparent and your players can see right through it. Then the message you’re trying to send gets lost. Listen people, basketball, by nature, is a physical sport. Practices should be physical because the games are physical. And as a coach you sometimes need to think outside the box when preparing your team to do battle. Bonita lost a great coach over a cut that will heal in no time, because of a parent/s who just don’t understand. And to all the pushy, know it all parents out there, keep your comments and opinions to yourself, or go get your own program and you can run it your own way. These high school coaches have such a strong passion to teach the game they love for practically pocket change. And then they have to deal with parents who think they know better yet would never in a million years grab a clipboard. It’s no coincidence why so many coaches in this area are calling it quits.

      This is a sad day for Bonita athletics.

      • Bonita Fan

        Sad Bearcat – are your really that dumb. Obviously, there is a place for HS wresting. There is no room to have HS basketball players use wrestling as a form of punishment in the middle of locker room where injuries are a likely result.

        • Sad Bearcat

          Bonita Dad (Fan) – You typify the negative stereotype of parents in high school sports by calling me dumb (sounds like something a bully would do). And what’s really sad is you can’t even respond to my take on why a coach might make that decision because you are simply incapable of seeing the other side it. I’m trying to bring a coach’s perspective on a coaching decision. You’re probably in the process of hiring a lawyer.

          • Bonita Fan

            Sad Bearcat – I apologize for calling you dumb….it was uncalled for. However, I just cannot get past how you can compare HS wrestling to what Eckler did….it is not a valid comparison on any level. I am no longer a Bonita dad, my 2 kids have graduated and did play football with no interference from me. I would have had no problem with my kids playing for Eckler up until the incident which he went way to far. In fact, if would have taken accountability for the incident and not QUIT on the same boys he that he subjected to the bad behavior, I could have even got past the incident, even though I think he showed no control of his emotions and very bad judgment. Since you have an opinion, can you answer 3 questions….
            1) Do you think the halftime incident was a teaching moment by Eckler or do you think that he lost control of his emotions and made an emotional over the top judgment call because he lost control of himself. we have to keep in mind his history when answering this question.
            2) If you think it was a teaching moment and he was under control, would you condone this type of behavior….wrestling without pads and headgear in the middle of a locker room where you can very easily injure yourself on a locker or bench.
            3) Also, do you really think the parents of the injured player have no right to call the school to find out what happened and why their basketball player was made to wrestle at halftime in unsafe environment? Do you really think that they are interfering at this point or do they need to wait until their is an eye injury or a concussion? I think that the parents had a right to elevate the conversation for this particular incident.
            My answers would be he lost control (we have seen it many times over the years). If he didn’t lose control, it was still very bad judgment by a person who is an educator and a role model and yes, in this case, the parents of the injured player have a right to call the school. Again, he really compounded the problem by QUITTING on the boys.

          • Sad Bearcat

            Thank you for the apology. I truly accept and no hard feelings. And those are all valid points/questions. To answer your first question. I do NOT condone what he had his players do at halftime. I can understand using wrestling as a practice drill to prepare for a physical sport but in my opinion at halftime, and in a locker room, is the wrong time or place to do something like that. If this is a regular drill, I think it should be done out in the open on the grass or on pads (question 2). Clearly frustration got the best of Coach Eckler in that situation and he exercised bad judgement. However, I’m curious as to what was said to him by administration following the incident. Did they use this instance as an opportunity to demand wholesale changes in his coaching philosophy (ie. no more wrestling, “colorful language” at all)? Or did they simply tell him to never let your players wrestle in the locker room again? If it’s the former I understand why he walked away seeing as how they turned I blind eye to it for so long (not to mention it would also strip him of his identity). If it’s the latter, and they said “no more wrestling at halftime”, then his walking away seems like another overreaction. In my years of coaching I’ve learned that you make adjustments in game and address the big issues (competitive spirit/toughness) the next day at practice when you’ve had time to think logically and not make emotional, rash decisions. As for question 3, I completely see your side of it. However, had it been my boy I would’ve talked to him first before deciding whether to call the school and make an issue of it (not saying that the parents didn’t). And I would’ve tried to cool down and before picking up the phone (again, not saying they didn’t). We may never know why Coach Eckler walked away unless we find out what was asked of him by administration. It’s unfortunate that that this situation compounded like it did. Again, I think Coach Eckler is a great coach even though our philosophies may be completely different, but bad judgement or loss of control has it’s consequences. Maybe he is better suited for the college level?

      • coachbilly

        Sad BC
        I would have to agree with you. While I don’t fully agree with Eckler’s style it has gotten results.
        The football coaches out there have to be laughing about this one! We wrestle at half time, get a little cut and were running a very good coach out? OMG, strap on some pads, and toughen your kid up!
        The parents now days really don’t get it! Too many sorry a## dads or moms that still are rockin their babies to sleep.
        Unbelievable now that the truth came out. A cut? Wow! I’ve had multiple cuts, bruises, suffering and PAIN playing football at the hs and collegiate level. You parents in La Verne continue to make excuses… Your kid either steps up or steps out.
        Move on, this is just why coaches do decide that the pay doesn’t fit the time or BS you parents put coaches thru.

        • Sir Asaac Newton

          These parents didn’t sign their kids up for football (where, by the way, they wear protective gear) or wrestling (where they wrestle on pads in an open area and wear protective head gear) This coach is lucky that the only injury was a cut over the eye. What would have happen had it been a serious concussion, permanent eye injury, lost teeth, or broken bones? I would bet that the coach, administrators, and school district probably would have been sued and the coach possible arrested. Everyone loves a winner, but many parents aren’t into that “win at all costs” mentality.

          • coachbilly

            S Newton
            It’s quite apparent you don’t have a clue
            about sports in today’s world. None of what could have happened did happen. A very mute point..
            A little boo boo over the eye is harmless in the big picture. In fact if you knew anything about BB you would realize the sport is pretty tough. The problem is just what you said “a sorry @ss sue happy parent who doesn’t understand mommy and daddy can’t wipe there butts anymore”. Doubt this one would even get to court. Laughable!!
            Win at all costs??? Wow, a little match on the ground and an abrasion over the eye.
            Really now? Maybe the kid should take up whale watching?
            You just lost a great coach because he decided it just wasn’t worth his knowledge, time and effort to sit back and listen to nonsense.

          • Sir Asaac Newton

            Yeah, I guess your right. Coaches should be allowed to bring police night sticks into the locker room to toughen up these kids. Maybe a stun gun would work twice as fast. It’s a dam shame that football coaches these days allow their kids to drink water during summer tow-a-days when the temperatures exceed 100%, just makes these kids soft. If we have to run a few kids to the hospital or the morgue then so be it.

          • coachbilly

            Wow, some real softie parents in La Verne and Kiss isn’t far behind.. Lets all run to mommy and daddy when little johnnie gets a cut. Or but wait, its real serious.. LOL
            Then spend $1500 in emergency bill for a little cut? Are u kidding me? Run to ER for that? Really?
            No wonder there 0-3 now. Going to be a long year for soft Bonita without a coach that gets results….

          • Tom Kiss

            Billy, ask Fred how “soft” i was as a Coach back in the 90′s, At no point do I ever think it is OK to deliberately cause injury to a player. As a Coach and Former Teacher, I told the kids there is no way I can guarantee that you will never get hurt, injuries happen. What you try to do is prevent them, and in this case the Coach did the exact opposite. At this point its just a case of beliefs and obviously we are on the opposite ends of this.

          • coachbilly

            You got to be kidding Tommy Boy? You’re pretty soft when you think a minor cut is an injury or even serious..
            Ask yourself this? Where do the players stand on this? Might be surprised!
            You’re only right about one thing ” I prefer to be on the opposite side of this”. Coach E results and leadership speaks volumes for Bonita.

          • Tom Kiss

            Billy, always great to debate someone knowing you will always be on the opposite sides of an issue, and I respect your opinion.
            No I am not kidding, but will admit that i do not know the full extent of the injury. I am only hearing what everyone else is, i have no inside knowledge.
            Instead of asking my self or speculating on what I think the players want, I would rather talk to Them, On Camera, or speak with the asst coaches. I would ask them how they feel and if this is justified.
            As of now, I have not heard from Coach Eckler or anyone other than Mr Podley or the Supt who issued a statement. You would think that if either side were passionate about their stance, Ex Coach, Players or current asst coaches….they would talk about it, and believe me there are many platforms for them to speak on. If those volumes you speak of, were really on the side of Coach E and his results & leadership then someone surely would be speaking out…

          • Tom Kiss

            Well Billy, then it sounds like you have the answer the Lakers have been looking for, and i bet that would sell even more tickets than their games do, I can see it now and would love to cover it……..”Kobe vs Nash”…..Sacre vs Pau on the undercard…in the octagon…….between the halftime of the Xmas games…ratings bonanza !!!!……oh i guess that wouldn’t work cause they are adults, and this type of behavior will only work on kids.

          • Truth be told

            Kobe vs Nash? Are they going to hit each other with their crutches? AARP would file a complaint with the California State Fight Commission.

          • Truth be told

            Actually Coach, I think your the one that’s out of touch with what is happening in sports today. Coaches are being fired everyday across the country because of antics like what happened here. The types of things that coaches could do back in the 60′s and 70′s are no longer tolerated today. Prior to Woody Hays giving a karate chop to the player from Clemson on National TV, coaches could do just about anything they wanted to their players, but that’s not true today. How do you justify what happened here by saying, “none of what could have happened did happen”? So your of the mind set that we should just wait for something horrific to happen prior to stopping something that any rational person could see was clearly dangerous? As far the sue happy parents, I agree, we do live in a overly litigious society. However, that would be the very argument that most reasonable people would make for stopping said behavior. In addition, I bet you would be just as pissed as the next guy if you got hit with a $1,500 Emergency Room bill for stitches to your kids forehead following a basketball game where you kid was injured in the locker room while following his coaches instructions to wrestle one of his teammates. Perhaps you should consider changing you screen name to CoachaBULLY.

  • Aaron

    I’ve been out of the loop when it comes to roundball as Bonita and I’m definitely most concerned with hand egg and small ball. To qualify my statement, I never played for Eckler. I wasn’t a roundballer at all. However, I saw him take talent and do things with it, and then I saw him take less talented teams and just wreck more talented teams.

    If you think he has a potty mouth, ok, most coaches that aren’t John Wooden, Bobby Bowden, and Coach K have a very foul mouth. Eckler is by no means a saint on the court, but off the court he’s as polite as can be. And if you think for a moment what may have happened wouldn’t have gotten him fired by Robert Ketterling and Eric Podley you are grossly mistaken. Because he resigned as the basketball coach and not as a teacher, I would ask you to take a sample of the students in his history classes whether or not they get treated with respect. I’m betting that they get treated quite highly.

    • Chris H

      Coach K is king of the potty mouth!

  • reality

    No point in explaining this situation in one sentence Robledo. Does not represent anywhere near the full story. The bloggers are closer to the truth on this one. When the admins back up the complaining parents more than the coach you have no choice but to leave. What ever happened to Dad talking to the coach in private if you feel the situation warrents it, rather than calling officials and lawyers. Who wants to coach in this climate.

  • Jefe

    If this is true, what type of imbecile would support Coach Eckler?

    This is just pure stupidity.

  • 12th man

    What I don’t get is that? If this coach has been using this type of coaching techniques throughout the years..Where was all the complaints while they were winning league titles?

  • Bearcat44

    Ketterling over at San Dimas is going to get it. Great coach and great role model for the kids.

  • Leo Tolstoy

    There seems to be a few convenient outs for Eckler’s supporters, your kid sucked, your kid is a pine rider or the parent is living through the child. While all these issues could have substance it does not deal with the real issue, Eckler’s behavior. I know parents who swear by Eckler and some who hate everything about the man. I’ve always been a huge Eckler fan because he gets the most out of his players and because he was always smart enough to do two things: surround himself with a great supporting cast of coaches and because he actually knew himself. He’s a Bobby Knight type of coach and not a John Wooden type of coach. Knight always reinforced the belief that he made his players and not the other way around. Wooden on the other hand made men who became even greater after basketball, Jabbar, Wilkes, Walton, Erickson, Goodrich, Warren and on and on. Basketball coaches are given a lot of latitude when dealing with players, more so than any other sport, in my opinion, and I don’t really see it changing anytime soon. I’d take Phil Jackson,. Gregg Popavich and John Wooden over Bobby Knight or his horde wannabees. Eckler, like so many basketball coaches, started to believe their own hype and ultimately became their own worse enemy. Sad to see this come to this again, when will coaches ever learn. Wooden or Knight, the choice is yours.

    • Lupe

      Like others have said look into Sam Gilbert….Before bashing Knight. He has 1 of the highest graduation rates of all time. pretty sure some of his players have gone on to be great men, coach K, Alford….i’m not bashing Wooden. he’s just a differnt coach than knight.

  • John

    In The Stands – The father of the injured player was approached by a school administrator immediately after the incident. He was told to “Find out what happened to your son, because he was not bleeding when he went into that locker room.” – Does this make it more acceptable for the parents to meet with the school administration, or should they not have responded to the administrator’s request?

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