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Parents Defend Coach They Say Was Fired for Verbally Abusing Ref

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Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune
All Rights Reserved

The Salt Lake Tribune
September 25, 2013 Wednesday
SPORTS; Prep Sports
304 words
Prep football: Copper Hills coach suspended, assistant fired
By Aaron Falk The Salt Lake Tribune

Copper Hills football coach John Teuscher has been suspended for two games and one of his assistants has been dismissed from the team.

Jordan School District spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf said the disciplinary decision was handed down this week by the school's principal, Todd Quarnberg. The spokeswoman declined to discuss the reason for the suspension and firing.

Players' parents say, however, say foul language toward a referee Friday night was the cause, and they have come out in support of the dismissed coach, former University of Utah offensive lineman John Cullen.

Teuscher and Cullen are part of a first-year staff at Copper Hills, a football program that traditionally has struggled on the field. One parent said the disciplinary actions have been a blow.

"He's never been so excited about his coach," Kim Newman, whose son is a sophomore on the Grizzlies team, said about her child's relationship with Cullen. "He's never been so inspired and empowered by any of his coaches. He just has a completely different view. ... That's why everyone is upset about this, because there's so much hoped based on their coaching abilities."

Newman said school officials have told her that players were not in danger.

"I'm not saying that it's appropriate for someone to swear at anyone else, but it's a football game," she said. "I know it's not constructive, but they're not in therapy; they're at a football game."

Teuscher will be allowed to continue to work with his players, though he will not be permitted on the sideline during the team's next two games, Riesgraf said. Cullen, who also worked as a hall monitor in the school, resigned from that position after being relieved of his coaching duties.

A meeting for players and parents has been scheduled at the high school for 7 p.m. Wednesday.

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk

September 25, 2013

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