Willow Glen football coach suspended; two assistants to lead Rams on Friday

Willow Glen’s Oscar Caballero suspended from coaching duties as district investigates sideline incident at last week’s game

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Willow Glen football coach Oscar Caballero has been suspended and will not lead his team against Overfelt at home on Friday while the San Jose Unified School District investigates a sideline incident last week involving a crew member holding yard markers.

“The head coach has been suspended from coaching duties during the investigation and will not be coaching at the Willow Glen High game tonight,” district spokesperson Jennifer Maddox wrote in an email to the Bay Area News Group on Friday. In tonight’s home game against Overfelt, the Willow Glen High varsity team will be coached by assistant coaches BK Robertson and Aaron Lewis.”

Maddox stated that the district has been working with Central Coast Section league officials to investigate the incident, which was captured on video.

The Bay Area News Group obtained grainy video from the other side of the field at Leland High on Friday night. In the video, the coach accelerates as he approaches and appears to make eye contact with a crew member. The crew member is knocked to the ground.

Willow Glen’s parents defended Caballero, claiming that the crew member, a Leland parent, was breaking the rules by videotaping and tripped when confronted by the Willow Glen coach.

“Coach Caballero did not assault the parent volunteer,” Bryan Holmes wrote in an email on Wednesday on behalf of the WGHS Rams parents. “After multiple players informed him that he was videotaping them and their play calling process, he walked over to him and slapped the phone he was videotaping with out of his hand, causing him to step back and trip over the chain.”

Even if the district determines that the Leland parent tripped over the chain, the coach involved could face discipline for taking matters into his own hands rather than requesting that the head referee or a school administrator take charge.

Crew members who hold yard markers at high school games, also known as the chain gang, are usually volunteers from the home team. During games, they line up on the opposing sideline and follow play up and down the field.

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