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Football: Eric Patton resigns at San Clemente [Updated]

February 27, 2012 | 10:02 am

Eric Patton, under investigation for his role in doing business with a now-defunct Orange County sports equipment company, has officially resigned as football coach at San Clemente. He did not coach this past season while on administrative leave. He had been head coach since 1999.

The school will seek a permanent replacement from within, according to Athletic Director Jon Hamro, who served as the interim coach this past season.

Patton, in an email, said he resigned on Jan. 30 and does not know why the school waited until Monday to release that information.

"I had wanted to finish with this class because several years previously I had promised a mother of one of my players that I would finish my tenure as head coach with her son, and it just seemed like good timing," he said in the email. "I have always had as a goal not to announce in a public fashion my retirement from coaching before the end of of the season in order not to distract from the team's accomplishment."

He resigned after the school held its football banquet. Patton said his resignation was "intended to enable the SCHS footall program to move forward." He said his decision was made "months prior to the 2011 season."

-- Eric Sondheimer