A high school in Newport Beach, Calif., has suspended its boys' basketball program after the head coach and his family received threats of physical harm.
Newport Harbor High School head basketball coach Larry Hirst, described in the Orange County Register as "one of the nicest, most balanced coaches in county basketball," resigned as coach after receiving the threats. Hirst had coached at Newport Harbor for more than 15 years and he and his wife also teach at the school.
From KABC News:
"He was very fearful for himself and for the safety of his family and ended up quitting as a result. So that's a very serious situation," said Newport Harbor High School principal Michael Vossen.
Vossen won't say exactly what threats were made but confirms something was left at the school, where Hirst's wife also works. There was also some vandalism at their home in Huntington Beach last week.
"I heard someone put sticky notes all over his wife's car, just saying 'Leave Harbor or bad things will happen,'" said student Brandon Beck. "They just hate the coach, they don't want the coach to be part of the program."
According to Vossen, police suspect those behind the threats are persons associated with the basketball program, which has about 30 to 40 students.
Police say an investigation is under way.
This past Januray Hirst took a leave of absence with his team in the middle of a 10-game losing streak, according to KABC, only recently returning to the team. According to MaxPreps, the Sailors finished this season with league record of 2-8 and overall record of 6-17, giving them a 26-50 record over the last four years.