South San head football coach Phil Barron placed on administrative leave with season a week away

South San Bobcats open season Aug. 27 against McCollum

(South San High School Bobcats)

SAN ANTONIO – South San High School head football coach Phil Barron has been placed on administrative leave with the start of the regular season a little more than a week away, KSAT has learned.

SSISD spokesperson Brad Domitrovich confirmed that Barron is on leave pending an investigation. Domitrovich said no further details can be shared at the moment because it is personnel matter.

Barron was hired as the head football coach at South San High School in June 2020 after two years as head coach at Burbank. Barron is a 2002 graduate of South San and worked as an assistant for the Bobcats for several years.

At a South San ISD school board meeting on Wednesday evening, three members of the coaching staff spoke on behalf of Barron, asking for the head coach to be reinstated. A group of players were there in support as well.

While details of what prompted Barron to be placed on leave have not been released by the district, the coaches who spoke publicly alluded to a COVID-related issue and the lack of existing procedures in place.

“We’re losing our leader because of this particular instance that COVID has brought upon with no procedures in place,” said coach Ivan Salazar. “I think, collectively, we should all take a share in this responsibility, preparing our educators and students. It’s unfair to put all the blame on coach Barron.”

Coach Miguel Molina followed Salazar, saying, “The man I’ve known for the past 15 years would never knowingly or intentionally put himself in a position where he would not be able to lead the young men behind me. He would never do that.”

The district has not publicly announced who has been named interim head coach during Barron’s absence. Coach Doug Burford addressed the board as well, vouching for Barron and referring to himself as the acting leader of the team as it currently stands.

South San did not give a timeline for when the investigation would conclude. The Bobcats are scheduled to open their season against McCollum High School on Friday night at South San Stadium.

You can watch the school board meeting below.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.