HS football coach in Tulare steps down after DUI

A Valley high school football coach is temporarily stepping down after he was arrested for DUI.
October 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Valley high school football coach is temporarily stepping down after he was arrested for DUI.

Tulare Redskin's Varsity Coach Darren Bennett was not at practice Wednesday afternoon. The board accepted his leave of absence as head coach, but he remains an employee at the school.

Football players took to the field to practice at Tulare Union High School the same day Coach Darren Bennett took a leave of absence from the team. The assistant coach will be filling in for the rest of the 2013 season.

Superintendent Sarah Koligian said, "No decisions about next year at this point in time we're just dealing with the remainder of this football season."

Bennett was arrested for DUI last Tuesday in Visalia, not far from where he lives. Parents had mixed views about whether the school was right in letting him coach the team that Friday night.

The 18-year coach has led the team to three Valley championships and nine Yosemite league titles. Though he's taking a leave of absence from the team, he remains employed as a physical education teacher at Tulare Union High School.

Koligian said, "His teaching job is not affected at all by the situation and incident by last week it does not affect his job as a teacher and his role."

Tulare Union says it does not have a policy when it comes to employees getting arrested.

The district attorney's office is still reviewing Bennett's case to determine what, if any, charges he'll face.


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