A California assistant football coach was fired hours after his team’s rivalry setback Thursday night, and he claims the reasoning behind his dismissal is based on the optics from an attempt to diffuse a potential skirmish on the field.
As reported by Sacramento Fox affiliate KXTL and NBC affiliate KCRA, El Camino defensive coordinator Brian Buick was dismissed on Friday, just hours after he was involved in an on-field incident following El Camino’s loss to rival Rio Americano. While it appeared at the time of the incident that Buick may have joined El Camino players who escalated the disagreement, he insists his goal was quite the opposite:
“My intent was to get in between the kids and stop them from fighting or anything like that,” Buick told KXTL.
Compounding the optics was a separate run-in between Buick and the police related to an undisclosed family member who allegedly became involved in a fight during the game. The now-former coach said his emotions may have made him overreact. “Maybe I came off a little rough,” he told KXTL.
The sudden dismissal has been met with immediate shock from Buick’s players, who have already sprung into action and written a letter asking for San Juan Unified School District administration to reinstate the coach.
Buick is asking for a meeting with San Juan or El Camino administrators to discuss his status. It’s possible that the team won’t play without him, too, as a number of the El Camino football players have posed the possibility of a total program strike if Buick is not reinstated.
“In any form of sport, for somebody to rush in the middle of the field and do that — to slam their flag down — is completely disrespectful,” El Camino player Isaiah Horne told KCRA. “From the stand’s perspective, it seemed like something was happening. But if you’re standing on the field, nothing really happened. Everything is just a big misunderstanding and I hope they bring my coach back.”
Naturally, Buick hopes that, too. Now he wants a hearing with the officials who made the decision that he was no longer going to be a part of the El Camino program.