PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A teacher who was a varsity girls basketball coach and a varsity football assistant coach for Mountain Pointe High School is accused of leaking protected information to opposing teams, reported the Tempe Union High School District.
An employee investigation discovered that for the past two years, a teacher named Justin Hager shared proprietary details about the varsity football team and varsity basketball team with coaches of competing teams, the district revealed.
[WATCH: Why did he leak team's game plans?]
Evidence obtained by the district that dates back to 2017, shows how Hager shared privileged information about formations, game plans, signals and player eligibility to give adversaries a "competitive edge."
Under the email of WalterPayton12@yahoo.com, he would anonymously email various high school coaches game information such as plays, game plans, signals and defensive schemes, according to the district. The information was sent to the Yahoo account from a TUHSD email account.
The district said the Yahoo account contained hundreds of emails, according to witnesses, and extensive communication between Hager and opposing coaches. However, TUHSD said it was only able get a small amount of the emails.
Due to the leaking of this information, Hager will no longer be working for the district, pending approval of the governing board on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The biggest question everyone wants to know is why?
While it's unclear what the motive was for Hager, the information leaks may have cost the teams chances at championships.
Arizona’s Family tried asking Hager that question Tuesday afternoon at his home in Ahwatukee.
It appeared he was in the middle of moving out even though, movers mentioned he was inside the home despite knocking he did not come out.
Between Nov. 14 and 16, 2017, Perry High School football coach Preston Jones and "WalterPayton12" exchanged emails about game plays, including images of plays. Mountain Pointe then lost to Perry 56-31 in the championship finals.
On Feb. 27, 2018, "WalterPayton12" shared information about the strategy for the state championship game with Pinnacle head varsity basketball coach Charlie Wilde. Mountain Pointe lost to Pinnacle by 16 the next day.
On Nov. 5, 2018, play images were sent to the Chandler High School head football coach Shaun Aguano and assistant coach Steve Vaught. Mountain Pointe lost to Chandler 49-21 on Nov. 9 in the championship quarterfinals.
But just because information was sent to the opponents, that doesn't mean it was an automatic loss for Mountain Pointe.
On Feb. 19, 2018, "WalterPayton12" sent emails to Brophy basketball head coach John Burns about plays Mountain Pointe planned to use. Mountain Pointe then won in the state championship semifinals, 62-58, two days later.
Mountain Pointe still beat the Desert Ridge High School football team after emails were sent to the head varsity coach of images of plays and ineligible player information in October 2018.
The district detailed one instance where Faith Lutheran High School varsity coach Vernon Fox received Mountain Pointe plays for games from "WalterPayton12" last month but replied with, "We don't believe in cheating." Mountain Pointe crushed Faith Lutheran in Las Vegas 40-17 on Aug. 23.
Tomika Banks, the Mountain Pointe principal, expressed how surprised and devastated the school is by this incident.
“Our entire campus is shocked at these findings. It is the responsibility of all adults on a high school campus to act with integrity and to put students first in all we do,” stated Banks in a press release. “Mountain Pointe students, families and staff are heartbroken to learn our trust was violated by someone we cared for and considered a member of our family.”
Rich Wellbrock, the head varsity football coach at Mountain Pointe, can't understand why someone who is supposed to be an ally would do this.
"I am at a loss as to why someone would hurt kids in this way," said Wellbrock. "The entire coaching staff at Mountain Pointe is deeply troubled that a trusted adult in our program would actively work against the success of our students.”
TUHSD's Executive Director of Community Relations, Jennifer Liewer, says it is additionally troubling that none of the Mountain Pointe coaches or school administrators were told by opposing teams about the leak until a recent game against Faith Lutheran High School.
“The association is aware of a situation involving personnel at Mountain Pointe High School offering privileged information to other schools," said AIA executive director David Hines in a statement. "The association will reach out to all schools affected by this occurrence by Tuesday and an investigation will be launched. All data will be collected by this office and shared with the AIA’s Executive Board, which will make a decision at an official meeting following the inquiry. Since this is now an open investigation, the AIA cannot comment on any of the proceedings, the member schools involved or speculate on the nature of information that has been shared.”
In a press release, Kevin Mendivil, Tempe Union Superintendent, also made a statement on the information leak.
“As a member district of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, we have reported these infractions to the AIA and will cooperate fully with any investigation into these acts," said Mendivil. "Furthermore, the actions of one person is not representative of this school or our district, and we believe this should serve as a call to action for every adult in a leadership role with students to recommit to acting with integrity, whether in the classroom or on the field of competition.”
"I was mad because I initially thought the kids were cheated," said Ralph Amsden, the publisher for ArizonaVarsity.com.
He reports on high school football and basketball.
"These kids go in thinking they're going to be on an even playing field, that it will be effort and talent against effort and talent," Amsden said. "People’s trust has been broken. What should we expect from head coaches all across the state?"
Arizona’s Family spoke to Vernon Fox, who is currently the head football coach of Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas. Fox has been the only coach to report the emails, leaking and game information.
It happened in August, right before his match up with Mountain Pointe High School in Las Vegas.
Fox said in the days leading up, he received around seven separate emails with screen shots of plays, playbooks and information regarding the upcoming game.
He said he was taken back by their email and confronted Mountain Pointe High School head coach Rich Wellbrock before the game.
"Which prompted my conversation with the coach when he came it was real simple I said hey I don’t know what’s going on but there’s someone that is angry and for whatever reason we got this information," he said.
"I just wanted to let you know my response it’s not something that we utilized.”