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Calvary Chapel fires two top wrestling coaches

California's Calvary Chapel High School -- home to one of the nation's top-ranked prep wrestling programs -- has fired its head coach and assistant coach, the Orange County Register reported Saturday.

Calvary Chapel principal Jason Huffman said that the school had relieved head coach Sal Garcia and assistant coach Jacob Harman of their coaching duties early last week. What's more, Garcia -- who had headed up the Churchboyz wrestling program for the past two seasons -- was let go as a physical education and math instructor at the school.

Changes at the Santa Ana, Calif. based school weren't limited to the teaching and coaching staff.

"We have decided to part way with the Team Thunder wrestling program," Huffman told the Register. Garcia and Huffman had been on staff of Team Thunder -- a year 'round wrestling club with approximately 75 athletes -- which has used the wrestling room at Calvary Chapel for a number of years.

The principal offered no reasons as to why the two coaches were let go, nor why the relationship with Team Thunder had been severed.

Garcia was informed of his firing at a meeting on Monday where the school expressed concerns about the wrestling program.

"It just kind of came out of nowhere," Garcia told the Register, declining to offer any reasons for the dismissal. "It seemed like we were on the right track (as a program), but I don't know. I think some outside influences kind of help them make that decision. … I'm bummed because of the time all of us coaches invested in these kids and these families."

Garcia also said some parents were "upset at some of the coaches" but did not elaborate.
"Without getting into details, ultimately it's their kids they're concerned about," he said.
There were no explanations for Calvary Chapel severing ties with the two coaches and Team Thunder at the Churchboyz Facebook page -- the unofficial site for the school's wrestling program -- or for the wrestling club. Neither had been updated since July.

Calvary Chapel has won seven CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) State team wrestling championships, the most of any Southern California program. Over the past quarter-century, many Calvary wrestlers have won individual state and CIF-Southern Section championships.

Calvary Chapel is a four-year, private Christian high school located in Santa Ana, Calif. southeast of Los Angeles "dedicated to the spiritual, academic, physical, and social development of the students it serves." Founded in 1988, Calvary Chapel has approximately 500 students in grades 9-12.

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