PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Mountain Pointe High School assistant varsity football coach is not able to resign after being accused of sabotaging his own team.
On Wednesday night, the school board rejected Justin Hager's resignation. Instead, they're going to look for more evidence so they can fire him.
“The members of the Tempe Union High School District Governing Board are fierce advocates for students,” Governing Board President Berdetta Hodge said in a statement. “The action tonight demonstrates our commitment to putting students first and ensuring all adults on our campuses adhere to our core values and beliefs.”
A Tempe Union High School District investigation looked into emails Hager allegedly sent anonymously to other coaches, where he reportedly shared proprietary details about the varsity football team and varsity basketball team.
The Tempe Union High School District says under the email address WalterPayton12@yahoo.com, Hager would anonymously email various high school coaches game information such as plays, game plans, signals and defensive schemes.
The question now is why? Why would the assistant coach go to such lengths to sabotage his own program?
Several additional non-game related emails from Tempe Union High School District are giving some clues, helping connect the dots into what he might have been thinking.
In December 2017, the previous Mountain Pointe head coach, Norris Vaughn, retired after a successful nine-year run with the school.
That same month, the district says Hager sent an anonymous email by the user email@example.com to the head coach of Desert Ridge within the Gilbert School District with a warning.
"Coach I'm letting you know you don't want this Mountain Pointe job,” the email read. “The AD is lazy and many of the coaches in all sports will tell you this."
In January of 2018, Mountain Pointe hired Rich Wellbrock as the new head coach.
Then Hager sends another anonymous email to a local reporter, saying, "Many of the coaches will be leaving after this hire. Should of hired within. MP won't be the same."
Hager would also send two more emails under his fake name, requesting news coverage of his personal achievements, saying:
"His life story is pretty amazing.”
"I have only heard bits and pieces."
"He is one of the best coaches in AZ."
“He is as humble as ever and he would never want any recognition for anything..."
Brad Cesmat, CEO of Sports360AZ.com, says he's never seen anything like it in his 26 years following Arizona sports.
“You can't script this stuff, you just can't. He wanted to be the head coach when Norris Vaughn left. He didn't get the head coaching job, so he decides to go out, stick some emails out there, exalt his name, 'I should be the guy' or 'he should be the guy, look at this guy.' And now look at the absolute embarrassment nationally this has caused in the sporting environment of Arizona,” said Cesmat.
Mountain Pointe will play its next game on Friday against Hamilton.
“If that team goes out and gets run over, then obviously they were not focused because all the nonsense that went on this week. And it would make sense. It would be really hard. We're taking 15, 16,17,18-year-old kids who were betrayed by a coach on their own staff within the administration who you're supposed to be looking up to,” said Cesmat.