Texas Football Coach Pleads Guilty in Assault on Official
By Burt Carey
Former John Jay High School assistant football coach Mack Breed pleaded guilty this week to misdemeanor assault charges stemming from an attack by two players on a referee during a game.
John Jay Principal Robert Harris said Breed, 29, admitted to him that he ordered the players to intentionally hit umpire Robert Watts during a game Sept. 4 in Marble Falls, Texas. Breed, the defensive secondary coach, claimed the attack was in retaliation for multiple penalties Watts
had called against his team, others he allegedly didn’t call against their opponent, and that his players had told him Watts had used racial comments on the field.
Watts denied that he used racist language.
The assault was captured on video and posted online, where it quickly went viral. Following Breed’s admission to Harris on Sept. 23, he resigned Sept. 24. The video shows the two players lining up behind Watts and hitting him from behind when play ensued. Watts said he suffered a concussion.
Burnet County Court-at-law Judge Linda Bayless accepted the plea deal, in which a 12-month jail sentence and $3,500 fine were suspended in favor of 18 months of probation, a $1,500 fine, 120 hours of community service, plus restitution to Watts. Burnet County Attorney Eddie Arredondo said Breed must also permanently surrender his teaching certificate and attend anger management classes.
The players, 17-year-old Michael Moreno and 15-year-old Victor Rojas, are awaiting word on possible charges against them. Moreno would be tried as an adult, Rojas as a minor under Texas law.
“Investigation regarding others involved in the assault is ongoing, and charges against player Michael Moreno and an unnamed juvenile are expected to be filed shortly,” Arredondo said Monday. “The offenses of assault and aggravated assault are under consideration.”
Both players said they regretted hitting Watts during an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines show. They said Breed ordered them to hit Watts late in the game, saying the coach was upset with the official in a game John Jay was losing and in which several unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and a player ejection had taken place.
“Mack felt that he made a mistake that evening,” said Breed’s San Antonio-based attorney James Reeves. “He felt the best thing for him to do was to take responsibility, put it behind him and move forward with his life. Under the terms of the guilty plea, Mack Breed did not admit he ordered the players to strike the official.”
Moreno and Rojas were suspected for the remainder of the season by the Northside Independent School District and ordered to attend an alternative school until at least Jan. 15.