The five-time defending football champions of the California Interscholastic Federation City Section are entering the 2019 season in uncharted waters. The Narbonne High School (Harbor City, Calif.) football program is under academic investigation, and the relative contagion from the investigation continues to spread while the team’s football coach remains on administrative leave.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Narbonne football coach Manuel Douglas was temporarily reassigned in June in the early stages of an investigation into reported academic misconduct. He has not taken part in any team activities since, and isn’t expected to return before the start of the season; per the Times’ Eric Sondheimer, Douglas’ status won’t adjust until the academic investigation is complete.
In the meantime, the ongoing investigation has led to changing personnel in three of the school’s most senior roles. When the 2019-20 school year officially starts, it will come with a new Narbonne principal, new assistant principal overseeing athletics and a new athletic director. That’s virtually every leader in the school who touches the athletic program.
For now, former Narbonne defensive coordinator Joe Aguirre is the man on the spot, taking over Douglas’ role in the middle of a historic run.
Aguirre’s role is likely to continue for the entirety of the 2019 season, with an LAUSD supervisor telling the Times that a resolution to the academic investigation is still some time away.