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Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District officials placed longtime La Mirada High athletic director and baseball coach Kim Brooks on paid administrative leave Tuesday after the release of a recording that captured Brooks shouting and screaming for nearly 17 minutes in a profanity-laced tirade directed at his La Mirada players.
The recording features Brooks repeatedly cursing at his players, questioning their dedication to the program and inviting some players to transfer to another school.
"I've been here a long time," Brooks said. "I will tell you that was probably the most pathetic (expletive) baseball game I've ever seen a group play!"
The rant continued as Brooks belittled the players and their commitment to him and their team.
"I am not what we did today," Brooks screamed. "This is not me! And you represent me!"
Brooks later told the team it's "an honor and a privilege" to play for La Mirada.
"If you don't get it, (expletive) get out. Get the (expletive) out! That's the way it's been, and that's the way it's gotta be until I (expletive) die. If you don't like it, it's easy to transfer."
When reached by telephone Tuesday afternoon, Brooks told a Whittier Daily News reporter it was his voice on the recording. Brooks was upset with his team's play, likely following an 8-4 nonleague loss to Los Osos on April 26.
"My language was inappropriate," Brooks told the Daily News. "I was trying to motivate my team after a very poor performance, and I apologize about the language."
The district issued a statement Tuesday afternoon. "The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District has received a copy of a recording of high school teacher and Athletic Director Thomas Brooks," it said. "The District appreciates the serious nature of the content of the recording, and as such is conducting a full investigation into the matter. Pending completion of the investigation, Mr. Brooks will remain on paid administrative leave in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation process.
"Because the case involves an ongoing personnel matter, the District cannot comment further."
Brooks' words, however, do sound as if they go beyond an attempt to motivate. "If you can't (expletive) dive for a ball in the infield, (expletive) you! Can't make a routine play? (Expletive) you! Let somebody else try to make a (expletive) routine play," Brooks said. "You're gonna (expletive) (complain) and moan at the (expletive) umpire? ... (Expletive) you! Get off the (expletive) mound! I want a man out there. I want men!
"This isn't (expletive) little boys' baseball," he continued. "It's (expletive) time to grow (expletive) up."
At one point in the recording, Brooks indicated some players were upset they had to play in a spring break tournament instead of getting some midseason time off.
"I'm sorry that (during) your Easter vacation you had to play baseball," he said before launching another profane tirade. "There's some (expletive) kids at Children's Hospital that would have given anything to be able to walk and be out there!"
La Mirada's baseball team opens the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs against visiting Pasadena on Thursday, without Brooks in the dugout. Some took to Twitter to support Brooks.
A tweet sent from the baseball handle for league foe Glenn of Norwalk read: "John Glenn baseball supports Kim Brooks and all his contributions to Suburban League athletes over the past 30+ years."
Several of Brooks' current and former players and students also chimed in on the social media tool, offering their support with the accompanying hash tag, "freetheredman."