[UPDATED with Coach Quits:] Larry Hirst, Newport Harbor High Basketball Coach, Possibly Threatened by Players so Program is Suspended
UPDATE, MARCH 27, 11 A.M.: The violent threats that possibly came from Newport Harbor High School head basketball coach Larry Hirst's own players caused the veteran team leader to resign after 15 years with the Sailors, the school's principal reportedly confirmed.
"He was very fearful for himself and for the safety of his family and ended up quitting as a result," principal Michael Vossen tells KABC Eyewitness News. "So that's a very serious situation."
The threats amounted to "quit or die," so in that sense the perpetrators achieved their goal.
Newport Beach Police believe those making the threats are part of the basketball program, which includes up to 40 students. Since the program has been suspended, it will be interesting to see if that is noted in this year's yearbook, or perhaps there will just be a blank page.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 26, 11:01 A.M.: Members of sports teams often refer to themselves as "warriors" who are "going into battle" in hopes of "annihilating" the competition.
Newport Harbor High School just suspended its basketball program indefinitely because of similar violent language, only this time it was directed at the Sailors' head coach, Larry Hirst, not by the opposition but possibly his own players.
Six varsity basketball players were pulled out of Newport Harbor High classes March 13 to undergo questioning by campus police. On Saturday, parents of all players received emails from Principal Michael Vossen informing the basketball program has been suspended indefinitely over threats to the coach and his wife, Sheridan Hirst, a Harbor High teacher.
Letters containing violent threats were left at the Hirst home in Huntington Beach and on the windshield of Sheridan Hirst's car parked at the high school.
Larry Hirst, 50, took a leave of absence as coach in January, when the Sailors were in the middle of a 10-game losing streak.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.