Coach Is Ousted Over Drawings on Tackling Dummies
Jeff Engilman, recently named the head football coach at Grant High School in Van Nuys, has been removed from the position in the wake of allegations that he drew female genitalia on tackling dummies used in spring practice, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Unified School District said Wednesday.
Engilman, 34, who was attempting to transfer to Grant from Manual Arts, where he won City 3-A titles in 1983 and 1984, will continue to serve as a physical education teacher at Manual Arts. But he no longer will coach there, school district spokesman Bill Rivera said, and his transfer request has been canceled.
Engilman coached at Manual Arts for eight years before being named to the Grant High School position several months ago. He sought the transfer to be closer to his home in Saugus. The transfer would have been official in the fall, but Engilman had already assumed the spring coaching duties at Grant.
Rivera said a district investigation of the matter could result in added penalties for Engilman, ranging from a letter of reprimand to a three-day suspension without pay.
“Our information is that the coach created or drew on several of the dummies objects that supposedly resembled vaginas,” Rivera said. “Several of our teachers saw the drawings and reportedly were offended by them and reported them to the school administration.”
Grant Principal Robert Collins then removed Engilman from the head coaching position last week. Engilman denied that he had drawn genitalia on the tackling dummies. He said he had drawn lines that were to be “attack points” for blockers, and that those were misinterpreted by players’ girlfriends.
“Nothing was drawn on the bag that was sexual,” he said. “It was blown way out or proportion.”
Engilman said he thought the incident had been settled within the school, and that he had never been questioned by district officials.
“I’m quite down,” he said. “I think I’ve been tried, or pre-tried, without anyone talking to me.”