Dave Carson has been forced to resign as football coach at Hart High amid differences with Principal Laurence Strauss, who said that long-standing conflicts between the two probably would have led to the coach's removal.
"I thought the program needed some changes and we had philosophical differences concerning what should happen," Strauss said. "Dave obviously felt it was the right thing to do."
Strauss, however, added that he "probably would have" fired Carson had the coach not resigned.
"We reappoint coaches each year," Strauss said. "So, we're talking about not reappointing him."
Strauss said that he had reprimanded Carson last season for using excessive profanity with his players. Carson, 41, lasted only one season at Hart, leading the Indians to a 6-5 record and a disappointing third-place finish in the Foothill League. Hart had won the league title the previous five seasons.
Neither Carson nor Strauss would elaborate on the differences that led to Carson's resignation.
"It was a lot of things, a lot of incidents," said Carson, who coached at Burbank from 1983 to 1987 and compiled a 27-25 record.
Strauss said that Carson, who teaches physical education and health, will be retained as a teacher for at least a year. Strauss added that he will meet with the coaching staff today but will not appoint a successor.
"We will need to give it a little time," he said. "We'll talk about re-organization."
Carson left Burbank last season to take the helm of one of the best programs in the Valley area.
Buena High football Coach Rick Scott, Carson's predecessor, expressed surprise at the turn of events.
"When he was hired, I thought the choice was good. All this comes as pretty much a shock," Scott said. "My shock is from the standpoint that he sold his home and gave up his job at Burbank."
While at Burbank, Carson was named Foothill League Coach of the Year three times.
"From the standpoint of playing against him, I always thought he did an excellent job and had his team prepared," Scott said.