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Update: Coach Schimke will not return to coaching after maple syrup incident 

Update posted Jan. 5

–Coach Rich Schimke will apparently not be returning to his coaching position at Paso Robles High School. In a release sent to the Paso Robles Daily News from Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Public Informations Officer Martha Clayton, it states “The varsity head football coach/director of sport position is currently open and applications are being accepted.  All applications will be screened and interviews will be scheduled during the month of January.” 

Schimke went under fire after an incident was recorded of the coach pouring a shot of maple syrup in a player’s bellybutton. He was re-instated into his teaching position in November.

Update: Decision on Coach Schimke reinstatement put on hold for the holidays

Update posted Nov. 22

–No decision will be made as to the status of the reinstatement of Rich Schimke to his coaching position at Paso Robles High School until after the holidays, according to a report. 

Schimke was put on administrative leave after a incident was filmed of him pouring a body shot of maple syrup into a player’s belly button and licking or pretending to lick it out. He was cleared of any criminal charges by the police and reinstated into his teaching position at the school.


Update posted Nov. 4

–Rich Schimke, a Paso Robles football coach and teacher, has been reinstated to his classroom teaching position. The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District released the following statement regarding their decision:

We would like to respond to ongoing inquiries and concerns regarding the status of coach and teacher Rich Schimke. The district has determined that the Oct. 14 incident occurred in relation to Mr. Schimke’s service as the Head Varsity Football Coach, and had no nexus to his service as a classroom teacher. As such, Mr. Schimke has been reinstated to his classroom teaching position effective Nov. 3, 2016. Matt Carroll will continue as interim head football coach until the end of the season.

In response to ongoing speculation, the District can confirm that no formal action regarding Mr. Schimke’s status as a coach or otherwise will be before the Governing Board at the November 8 board meeting.

The safety of our students and their well-being continues to be our focus. We are dedicated to providing a safe learning environment for all of our students and ensuring their success.

Update posted Nov. 2

–Rich Schimke, a football coach for Paso Robles High School, can be seen pouring a “body shot” of maple syrup into a player’s belly button during a post-game celebration in the locker room in a video obtained by the Paso Robles Daily News. The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District says that they are, “aware of the video.” The investigation remains ongoing and Schimke remains placed on paid administrative leave.

Reports say that Heather Moscato, the mother of player Joe Moscato, claims Schimke leaned over and licked the syrup out of her son’s belly button; Bob Bartosh, Schimke’s attorney, said Schimke poured the syrup but did not make contact with the student and only pretended to lick the syrup.

Heather Moscato notified the Paso Robles Police Department of the incident, and then posted to Facebook Oct. 29 defending her decision to go public with the incident.

After a three-day investigation, police determined that no wrongdoing occurred. The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District is conducting a separate investigation.

“Our district has reviewed the video of the incident involving Coach Rich Schimke and a student from October 14, 2016, and is concerned about what occurred,” said Superintendent Chris Williams in a statement. “Our district is continuing to consider the contents of the video as well as other available information as part of its administrative investigation and internal review. Our district takes concerns and allegations against a member of our staff seriously, and is committed to ensuring that a full and fair investigation is conducted. Our district holds all staff to a high standard of conduct and is dedicated to providing an educational environment where students are treated with respect and dignity and are provided with opportunities for success. I would like to thank the community for its patience and understanding during this process.”

Rich Schimke

Rich Schimke. Photo by Hal Curry.

Original story posted Oct. 27

Investigation shows Rich Schimke did nothing criminal, report says

Paso Robles High School football coach Rich Schimke was recently placed on paid administrative leave, according to Martha Clayton, a spokeswoman for the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District.

Schimke is head varsity football coach for the Bearcats and a math teacher at the high school.

The Bearcats’ coach was placed on leave Monday after the district was made aware Sunday night of an incident said to be involving him and a student, KSBY reports.

The Paso Robles Police Department investigated an incident and consulted with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. Both agencies agreed that nothing criminal happened involving the student and Schimke and no criminal charges would be filed, the report says.

The school district is keeping Schimke on leave pending the results of its own investigation. Schimke could not be reached for comment.

In 2012, Schimke was celebrated for reaching his 100th win as head varsity coach of the Bearcats. At the time, Paso Robles High School Athletic Director Tom Harrington told the Paso Robles Press: “Rich has a long history of working with young people and getting them to achieve their full potential. There have been a lot of student athletes who have benefited from his guidance.”

The Paso Robles High School Bearcats football team will play Rhigetti in Santa Maria this Friday. There is no word on whether or not Schimke will be coaching the team.



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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at