John Jay coach: I believe my players

Assistant who ordered hit resigns

By Cory Smith - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - John Jay High School's head football coach took responsibility Thursday for the attack on a referee that occurred during the end of Jay's Sept. 4 game against Marble Falls High School.

Despite a lack of evidence, Gary Gutierrez said he has no reason to suspect that his players lied about accusations that Robert Watts, the official who was blindsided by two Jay players, used racial slurs toward them.

"Knowing the kids and knowing their characters, I feel like I have every reason to believe them and what they say," Gutierrez said. "Did I actually hear anything? No, I did not."

Testifying before the University Interscholastic League's State Executive Committee, Gutierrez said he told the official working the Jay sideline that players told him Watts used a racial slur during the game.

"His response to me was, 'Coach, we don't do that,'" Gutierrez said.

It is unclear whether the line judge relayed Gutierrez's concerns to the rest of the officiating crew.

Gutierrez told UIL members that he spoke with assistant coach Mack Breed immediately after the game. He said Breed admitted to making remarks that Watts "should pay for cheating us."

"He told me that he felt bad about the situation, asked me what I felt like as far as punishment for the kids," Gutierrez said.

Northside ISD officials announced Thursday that Breed has resigned from the school district. Breed, Watts and the two players who attacked him did not testify during the hearing. The UIL hopes to hear from them in October.

The only disciplinary action taken at the hearing was prohibiting Breed from coaching or participating in any UIL activity until he testifies before the organization.

Though UIL officials said Gutierrez could be disciplined for the actions of his players and coach, John Jay Principal Robert Harris expressed confidence in the coach and his team.

"It's not indicative of our school, not indicative of our football program, not indicative of our community and so we are heartbroken that this has happened," Harris said.

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