Engilman Is Denied Coaching Position

Times Staff Writer

Former football coach Jeff Engilman, whose transfer from Manual Arts High to Grant High was blocked in June, has been told he should not pursue a Los Angeles Unified School District coaching job this fall.

Engilman, 34, allegedly sketched a depiction of female genitalia on a tackling dummy during spring practice at Grant after being named to take over the school's football program.

This summer, Cleveland High football Coach Steve Landress asked Engilman to be his co-coach. The pair, who co-coached Manual Arts to City 3-A championships the past two years, worked with Cleveland athletes all summer.

A few days ago, however, Engilman was told by Cleveland Principal Kay Smith not to continue in any capacity with the school's football team.

"I was basically told to cool it for a year," Engilman said Thursday. "It looks like I'll be twiddling my thumbs this fall."

Said Smith: "We appreciate what Jeff has done with the youngsters over the summer but believe he has enough to do without coaching at Cleveland."

Smith declined to comment when asked if the incident at Grant was a factor in the decision not to hire Engilman as co-coach.

The Los Angeles school district may not want to hire Engilman as a coach this year, but it presented him with an award.

Engilman was named the South-Central Los Angeles Community Consortium Parent of the Year in June. At a ceremony, a school district official handed him a plaque that stated, in part, "In recognition for outstanding service to community, family and Manual Arts High."

Said Engilman: "I thought it was nice that the people at Manual hadn't forgotten me."

Engilman, who will return as a teacher to Manual Arts, added that if the district had its way, he would be a persona non grata for at least a year. "A (school district) administrator told me that if I kept a low profile, I would have a very good chance at getting a coaching job in 1986."

Engilman said he turned down offers to work as an assistant coach at Pierce, Valley and West Los Angeles junior colleges over the summer. He added that he plans to attend a lot of high school football games--"If they let me in," he quipped--and spend time with his family this fall.

"I promised my wife more of my time," he said.

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