Willow Glen to make football coaching change for remainder of the season

Longtime Willow Glen head coach Oscar Caballero won’t be back this season after sideline incident last week

Oscar Caballero, the football coach at Willow Glen, has been fired for the rest of the season following an incident last week involving a crew member holding the sideline yard markers.

In an email sent to parents during the team’s home game Friday night, the San Jose Unified School District stated that it had received the final report from the Central Coast Section and “will be making a coaching change for the Willow Glen High varsity football team for the remainder of the season.”

San Jose Unified, the CCS, and the California Interscholastic Federation, according to the district, “expect coaches, players, officials, and fans to demonstrate good sportsmanship at all contests.” Unsportsmanlike behavior must be reported to game officials. San José Unified acknowledges the league (CCS) as the governing body for athletic competitions and fully supports the league’s rulings.”

According to the district’s release, Willow Glen High is looking for an interim head football coach for the rest of the season, and coaches will meet with the varsity team on Monday “to communicate the change in coaches.”

Caballero picked up the pace as he walked down the sideline during a game last weekend at Leland High and appeared to make contact with a crew member holding the yard markers. According to Willow Glen parents, the crew member was breaking the rules by videotaping with his phone.

The incident between the coach and the crew member, a Leland parent, went unnoticed by the officials on the field because it occurred as a play was about to begin.

Caballero coached the rest of the game after the parent was removed from the crew because he had been warned about videotaping.

However, after a video of the altercation surfaced, the CCS office requested that the officials association review the incident and make a ruling based on what it saw. The section office’s video is not grainy.

“It was determined that he would be ejected for assaultive behavior,” CCS commissioner Dave Grissom said on Saturday to the Bay Area News Group. “CIF Bylaw 503 M is very specific. A coach who is removed or ejected for fighting, assaultive behavior, or gross misconduct is suspended for the rest of the season. Period.”

Grissom also mentioned an appeals process.

The CCS had not received an appeal from Willow Glen as of Saturday midday.

On Saturday, Bay Area News Group attempted but failed to reach Caballero and a San Jose Unified representative for comment.

Caballero’s future will be decided by the district, not CCS. He has been the varsity coach at Willow Glen since 2009.

The CIF bylaw states that a coach cannot return for violations such as assaultive behavior until the school’s principal notifies the section office that the principal and coach met to “discuss future behavioral expectations.”

During the week, Willow Glen’s parents rallied around Caballero, claiming that the coach grabbed the man’s phone and the man tripped over the chains.

“Coach Caballero did not assault the parent volunteer,” Bryan Holmes wrote in an email to Willow Glen principal Amy Hanna on Wednesday on behalf of the 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.”

On Homecoming night, the team was led by assistant coaches Aaron Lewis and BK Robertson and defeated visiting Overfelt 42-38.

Riley Warren caught a 25-yard touchdown pass with seven seconds left to lift the Rams to a 3-1 record.

The district announced earlier Friday that the team’s head coach had been suspended while the investigation was underway. It did not specifically mention Caballero.

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