A high school football coach who made physical contact with a player during a recent playoff game was suspended, but the parent of the player involved in the incident says he’s not happy with the outcome.
“It just makes me upset, it just makes me frustrated,” said Billy Padilla, parent of a Cibola High football player.
The contact happened during the Volcano Vista and Cibola High football game on November 16, 2018 at Nusenda Community Stadium.
As the two teams battled it out during the 6A semifinal game, Volcano Vista football team’s head coach Chad Wallin disputed a referee’s call in the third quarter.
The call resulted in the ball being turned over to Cibola. A senior Cibola football player, Jacob Padilla, lined up in position near the 50-yard line as Wallin continued to dispute the call on the field.
Video shows Wallin first bumped into the player. Moments later, Wallin appears to use his right hand to touch the player and the player can be seen stepping back.
“You know, coaches should be held to a higher standard than the players,” said Padilla, father of the player who was involved in the incident.
A flag was thrown moments later by a judge who ran from the back of the field toward the incident near the center.
“We’re thinking ok, you know, and you can’t touch a player, you know, you’re a coach,” said Padila.
However, Coach Wallin stayed in the game. His punishment came the next week when the NMAA suspended Wallen for the first half of their semifinal game against the Cleveland Storm on Friday, November 23. Volcano Vista ended up losing that game, ending their season and playoff run.
“He got a slap on the wrist and that was only through NMAA,” said Padilla.
Padilla says APS hasn’t told him if it too will punish Coach Wallin, who teaches PE at the high school. So far, Padilla feels the punishment has been lax.
“If my son would have done the same thing to Coach Wallin, he would have been ejected from the game, probably been suspended from school, and probably been suspended from a week of sports or, who knows,” said Padilla.
KRQE News 13 left a voicemail for Coach Wallin on Monday, but did not receive a return call.
An APS district spokeswoman told KRQE News 13 Monday that APS was part of the decision-making team that chose to suspend Wallin for half a game. They also said the district feels it’s addressed the issue.
Coach Wallin has been in trouble as a coach before. In 2014, the NMAA suspended Wallin for a week for having off-season practice and a recruiting violation for speaking to potential student-athletes who were still in the eighth grade.