Two Santa Margarita assistant football coaches, who were teammates at Canyon High School, were fired after the Santa Margarita principal and president conducted an internal investigation in regard to the coaches being arrested by Orange County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with marijuana possession by the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Sean Coen and Robert Hendricks were terminated by the school on Thursday night. Coen was a full-time employee at Santa Margarita, the strength and conditioning coach and worked with the football team’s receivers and defensive backs. Hendricks was a walk-on coach. Both played for Santa Margarita coach Harry Welch when they were at Canyon High School.
A third man, Charles Spann, also a teammate of Coen and Hendricks at Canyon, was charged with marijuana possession. Spann is an assistant football coach at St. Margaret’s and lived with Coen and Hendricks in San Juan Capistrano in 2010 when deputies arrested the three and charged them with marijuana possession.
Raymond R. Dunne, the principal at Santa Margarita, and Paul Carey, the school president, posted a letter on the school website that was sent to parents and school staff.
“Mr. Coen and Mr. Hendricks had every opportunity prior to and after September 15th to inform their head coach, the athletic administration or the school’s administration of the facts surrounding their case and neither did so,” Dunne and Carey wrote in the letter.
“Based on the facts we gathered in our investigation the school is immediately terminating both Mr.Coen, who is a full-time employee, and Mr. Hendricks who is a walk-on coach.”
The school conducted its own investigation beginning on Dec. 12, after school officials contacted the Orange County District Attorney’s office about the charges Coen and Hendricks faced. Dunne and Carey sent an e-mail letter to parents on Dec. 23 informing them of the charges and how the school was addressing the situation.
Coen, Hendricks and Spann were charged with possession of marijuana and facing three felony drug counts. They pleaded to two misdemeanor charges in September.
“In our internal investigation we found that sound judgment was not exercised by either man in allowing marijuana to be grown in their garage,” Dunne and Carey stated in their letter posted on the school’s website. “When one is charged with the responsibility of working with teenagers who are constantly in a society where the temptation of marijuana is prevalent, these coaches had a responsibility to utilize sound judgment.”
“This isn’t a Penn State situation. I didn’t hurt anyone,” Spann told the Orange County Register. “It didn’t affect the way I coached. It didn’t affect the kids in any way.”
Spann also told the Orange County Register he had a medical prescription for marijuana and was growing it for personal use.