Tesoro football coach Brian Barnes has been removed as the Titans’ coach for the remainder of the season, the Capistrano Unified School District said Tuesday.
“(Assistant coach) John Hall will be the interim head coach for the remainder of the season,” district spokesman Marcus Walton said.
Walton declined to comment on the reason for the coaching change, citing a personnel issue. Walton said Hall was named interim coach on Monday and that the decision was made “at the district office.”
The district also wouldn’t discuss Barnes’ coaching future but said the former Register coach of the year remains a teacher in the district.
The Register wasn’t able to reach Barnes. John Barnes, Brian’ father and the longtime football coach at Los Alamitos, also declined comment.
Tesoro athletic director Gil Ramirez and Principal Dan Burch didn’t immediately return messages Tuesday night.
The Titans (6-3, 1-3) are ranked ninth in Orange County. They conclude their regular season Friday at Chula Vista (6-3). Tesoro is unlikely to receive an at-large berth to the playoffs.
Last season, Tesoro stunned Servite to reach the semifinals in the Pac-5 Division. Barnes, in his sixth season, guided Tesoro to back-to-back South Coast League titles in 2007-8, finishing as the Pac-5 runner-up to Long Beach Poly in 2008.
Controversy hit Tesoro earlier this month when a video circulated showing one of the Titans’ top players delivering an extremely hard hit on an unsuspecting El Toro kicker during the opening kickoff of the teams’ Oct. 12 game. (See video of the play below.)
Tesoro also surfaced in a district investigation earlier this year. The district received a complaint before the school year about students from the Riverside County area being recruited to enroll in the district’s new online high school, Walton said. The students were then going to attempt to play football at Tesoro, Walton said.
“There was enough validity to the allegation that we denied their enrollment and appropriate action has been taken,” Walton told The Register in September.
The CIF-SS said last week that Tesoro has not self-reported any recruiting violations in football the past four months.
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