Steve Belles, the former Hamilton High School football coach who was removed after a hazing scandal that led to sex-assault and other charges against students in 2017, has withdrawn his name from consideration for a teaching position in Phoenix.
The Deer Valley Unified School District board had been scheduled to vote on offering Belles a teaching contract at its regular meeting Tuesday evening. He was not being considered for a coaching position.
However, in a letter to Sandra Day O’Connor High School principal Lynn Miller, Belles said he did not want negative publicity from his hiring to affect the district.
“As you know, I yearn to resume my career as a teacher and to return to the classroom,” Belles wrote. “But, I also do not want to be the reason why the District receives negative publicity, despite my belief that such publicity is unfounded. For this reason, I am withdrawing my name from consideration for employment with the District at this time.”
Belles left the Chandler Unified School District in the spring of 2018, nearly a year after three players were charged with assault and kidnapping in connection with allegations that at least one freshman was sexually assaulted as part of an initiation ritual.
When news of the scandal became public in March 2017, he was removed as head coach at Hamilton, where he had won five state championships in 10 years, and he was reassigned to non-teaching duties.
Chandler police reports from the case state that the assaults were committed by older players on members of the freshman team who had been called up to varsity.
In most cases, the victims told investigators they were pinned down while other players simulated intercourse or attempted to insert fingers or objects into their rectums.
Most of the assaults occurred in 2016, victims told the police, and they began to come to light in early 2017.