Former assistant goes on record with strong accusations against former Diamond Ranch coach Roddy Layton

By Aram Tolegian, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
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 Hudl.com account in order to gain an advantage before last fall’s rivalry game.

Johnson, a 2008 graduate of Diamond Ranch and a team 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.

Hudl.com 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 Hudl.com 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.”

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  • Nonsense

    This is the dirtiest story that I have ever heard of happening here in the SGV at the high school varsity level. I’m wondering if someone is auditioning for a new reality series for TV called The Real Dirty Coaches Of The SGV.

    • PatrickHT

      Johnson’s story is pretty legit!

    • Nomoredrama

      Hey Nonsense, looks like this story confirms the info I got from my daughter, Layton’s resignation was planned long ago….

      • Brahma fan

        Long ago! You mean last Thursday?

      • Nonsense

        OK, well go with your version, which only makes Roddy an even bigger A-Hole then previously thought. The guy waits until the end of the school year to resign which makes it very difficult for the school to find a decent replacement coach. On top of that the new coach gets zero time during spring ball to implement his offensive and defensive schemes. Sounds like a real stand-up guy. The class of 2015 & 2016 should be real happy with him. In the end it will make no difference, because when the dust settles from this, the guy will be very fortunate if he doesn’t lose his teaching job.

        • Nomoredrama

          It will be very interesting to see how this all turns out.

        • PatrickHT

          No its the fact he knows it’s better to resign then be fired$ which in turn means he saw this coming and has NO defense!

  • The Living Legend

    Spying? Are you serious? Did they put on fedora’s, sunglasses and trench coats? Did the theme from cloak and dagger play in the background?

  • 90′s Spartan

    They needed to watch hudl to know that a team pinned on their own goal line will run the ball? Hilarious!

    Did hudl also tell them that the brahmas like to punt on 4th down?

    • HSFootballFan

      It was actually a play-action pass, that lead to the sack fumble.

  • Inland football

    Roddy Layton is really pathetic . He is a dirt bag. He will keep lying to cover his face. Gotta feel sorry for that man, if you can call him a man.

  • Nomoredrama

    Johnson’s detailed descriptions of Dbar’s practice video sounds like he was the one memorizing hudl videos!
    Will be interesting to see the results of the investigation!
    The saga continues…

  • sabado-gigante

    Yea, and now he is going to be the Diamond Ranch AD.

  • In the know

    Rumor has it that when Hacienda League officials meet to discuss this issue, possible sanctions will include a 2 year playoff ban for DR.

  • Nomoredrama

    California state laws differ from Louisiana. Then there are federal laws that may have been broken, so, basically, it depends on if anyone files a criminal complaint and whether it’s state or federal, or possibly both. So far, from what’s been reported in the Tribune, it’s the school district conducting the investigation, not a law enforcement agency, yet….

    • Brahma fan

      YET, that’s the key word isn’t it? Be patient, if Paterno went down so will Layton. And from what I hear it’ll be some key members of his coaching staff as well.

      • Nomoredrama

        So are you comparing possible unauthorized internet access to allowing sexual abuse within your football program?

        If you wanted to make a sensible comparison, you should’ve compared him to Bill Belichick.

        And how about Diamond Bar and any other school, being smart enough to realize that they need to better secure their passwords and if a kid or coach leaves the program, revoke their password to prevent any further use.

        • Brahma fan

          You’re really reaching there buddy. If you need help with the comparison then you are obviously as smart as Coach Layton. Justice is coming son, and it will be SWEEET!

          • Nomoredrama

            Oh I’m sure justice will be served, but, comparing Layton to someone allowing a sexual predator access to your football program is libelous. So, let’s not talk about who’s smart or not smart. You can Google “libelous” for the definition.

          • PatrickHT

            They are not about to touch Layton! He is too much of an icon

          • Brahma fan

            Hey, great advice buddy! I learneded all kinds of new words:
            Libelous: adj. : constituting or including a libel : defamatory
            Cheat: noun : the act or an instance of fraudulently deceiving
            Thwart: trans. verb: : to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle

          • Nomoredrama

            You obviously have a comprehension deficiency.

          • Brahma fan

            I guess my Harvard education wasn’t as good as they advertised. But then again, you never do hear much of their Special Ed Program. Osculer Oro Caveto!

        • PatrickHT

          Doesn’t change the fact that he knew the password was NOT his to use yet he did anyway!

        • What in the wide world of

          So when someone robs you, it’s your fault because you didn’t lock your doors? or when a woman is raped, it’s her fault because her clothes were tight fitting? What exactly are the parents and teachers over in Pomona teaching their children. No wonder that place is a complete mess.

      • PatrickHT

        This shouldn’t be about seeing someone go down,but rather being deal with accordingly!

  • voizofreason

    All I wanna know now it WHAT’S THE PLAN? who is the new coach?