Lynch's firing surprises


Newport Harbor coaches say they're being left in the dark about coach's dismissal

team captain Duhoux quits swim team.

April 12, 2011|By Matt Szabo,
(Daily Pilot File…)

Jason Lynch's firing as boys' water polo and swimming coach at Newport Harbor High has surprised both members of the Sailors aquatics community and coaches on campus.

Newport Harbor senior Andrew Duhoux said he quit the swim team Thursday after meeting with Principal Michael Vossen. Duhoux, who was the team captain, said Lynch's indefinite removal – announced by Vossen April 4 – and his subsequent firing – announced Friday – "have really torn our team apart."

"It's about half and half on who wants him back and who doesn't," said Duhoux, a Daily Pilot Dream Team selection in boys' water polo last fall who plans to walk on at UC San Diego. "It's a really uncomfortable time right now. I have nothing against [interim swim coach] Clay [Jorth]; I actually quit the swim team because of the way the situation has been handled.

"I'm very upset that [Lynch] is gone, but I'm also upset with how this has been handled. It's hurting the players, in the end. This isn't helping us at all."


Duhoux has been promoting on Facebook an online petition to bring Lynch back as coach. As of Tuesday night, the petition had nearly 200 virtual signatures. Many of the signatures were by alumni of the program.

Vossen said he had meetings with parents and players Friday, the day he announced that Lynch was fired from the positions. Vossen said a change was necessary but did not release the reason why the 11-year Sailors head coach had been fired, calling it a personnel issue. Lynch remains a science teacher on campus, and according to multiple sources he is continuing to coach his high school players in club through the Newport Water Polo Foundation.

Sailors Coach Dan Glenn said he talked to Lynch after the indefinite suspension on April 4, and that Lynch expressed to Glenn that he didn't know why it had happened.

"I don't understand it," said Glenn, in his 25th year as boys' and girls' volleyball coach at the school. "I just feel bad for Jason. It's very disappointing what happened. It's disturbing. I don't think it was dealt with professionally.

"I don't know why Evan [Chalmers] was fired as baseball coach and I don't know why Eric [Tweit] was fired as athletic director. I don't think I need to know why, but I think they should know. I think Jason should know. Maybe he does. I don't know."

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