Football Coach Steps Down after Assault and Battery Accusations

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Football coach and physical education teacher Willie Matson has retired from Mission Bay High after an internal investigation determined he had committed assault and battery. The investigators found evidence that he had physically assaulted a player. His retirement is not an admission of guilt, and the school didn’t force him to retire.

Football Coach Steps Down after Assault and Battery AccusationsThe Alleged Assaults

San Diego’s Unified School District’s Quality Assurance Office conducted the investigation and created a 32-page report based on the findings.

The investigators focused on an incident that occurred in August of 2016 during practice. The special teams unit was on the field, and Matson blew the whistle to stop the action. The players went over to the coach and kneeled in a huddle.

Matson yelled at the players about their performance. Then, he thought a player was talking and went over to him. According to volunteer assistant coach Bashieff Jones Jr., Matson shoved the player in the facemask. The shove was so hard that the player fell backward and hit the ground.

According to the report, the coach stood over the player while he was on the ground and threatened to shove his fist down his throat.

Matson was interviewed as part of the report and admits to grabbing players by the facemask to talk to them, but he states he never put a hand on a player in anger. While he didn’t say the shoving incident didn’t happen, he disputed the details.

Additional Incident

Witnesses also came forward about another incident involving Coach Matson and a player. According to witnesses, a player was late to practice, and he and the coach exchanged words. A physical altercation allegedly followed. However, witness statements differ regarding the altercation. Some say the coach grabbed the player by the chest, while others say he grabbed him by the facemask or shoulder. They all agree that the coach pushed the player forward after grabbing him.

Matson told investigators that he does not recall that incident.

The End Result

As of right now, charges have not been brought up against Coach Matson, and there is no indication that they will be in the future. It’s also not clear if any of the students are going to file suit against the former coach. It appears that some feel satisfied after the coach stepped down after 41 years on the sidelines. His retirement might resolve the case. It could disappear, never to be talked about again, at least not outside of the locker room.

Assault and Battery Is a Serious Charge

Assault and battery is a serious crime. If found guilty, people can end up with a hefty fine and spend time in jail. It’s important to form a legal defense as soon as you are accused of the crime. Your first call should be to an assault and battery defense attorney. Let the attorney take over so he or she can begin collecting evidence for your defense. With the right defense, you could end up with the desired outcome.

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Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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