After discovering one of his assistants was revealing detailed information about his football team to opposing coaches, Mountain Pointe (Phoenix) head coach Rich Wellbrock was stunned.
According to Tempe Union High School District documents, Wellbrock’s son tracked the WalterPayton12 email account to assistant coach Justin Hager, who was sharing inside information for three years about Mountain Pointe’s team.
And not just in football, but in boys basketball. And not just to Arizona football coaches, but coaches from out of state that Mountain Pointe was preparing to play.
“He did not say why he did it,” Wellbrock said Thursday during a news conference at the district office. “From my standpoint, I don’t know why he did it.”
Wellbrock said he didn’t press Hager on it when they were face-to-face in a tension-filled room.
“To be in that room at that point, you think of a lot of things,” Wellbrock said. “But now, it is three or four weeks later, you think what you would have asked. I’m sure at the time my jaw was on the floor.”
Wellbrock spent about 25 minutes with the media Thursday, taking questions, addressing for the first time one of the most bizarre stories in Arizona high school football history.
The district found that “hundreds” of emails were sent to opposing coaches in the last three years from the WalterPayton12 email account, giving detailed information on the team.
Wellbrock said his initial reaction was anger and disappointment, knowing how up to 70 hours a week are spent working on game plans.
Emails released by the Tempe district showed which coaches received them and what was written.
“When we started the investigation, we didn’t really know the depth,” Wellbrock said. “This was never a gotcha. We wanted to stop detailed information from going out about our program. To our opponents, it was never a gotcha. We didn’t know the depth of where the investigation was going to go. To my peers, I want to make sure that is well-known.”