Paso Robles High cuts ties with football coach after syrup incident

January 6, 2017

syrup coach

Months following a raunchy locker room incident that divided the city of Paso Robles, school district officials have announced they are searching for a new head football coach. It is not clear whether the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District has forced longtime coach Rich Schimke to give up his job. [Tribune]

On Oct. 14, following a football game against San Luis Obispo High School, Schimke poured syrup in the belly button of a 17-year-old Paso Robles player and licked or pretended to lick the syrup. The incident was caught on camera, and it ignited a feud in which some parents, student and city residents called for Schimke to lose his job, while others fiercely defended the coach.

The Paso Robles Police Department conducted an investigation into the syrup incident and concluded nothing criminal occurred. School district officials conducted a longer investigation, during which they placed Schimke on administrative leave for the duration of the football season.

Schimke, who is also a longtime math teacher at Paso Robles High School, was reinstated to his classroom position a few weeks following the syrup incident. At that time, district officials released a statement saying Schimke’s teaching job had no connection to his wok as a football coach.

On Thursday, the district released a statement saying the head football coach position is open and administrators are accepting applications. The district plans to conduct interviews for the job this month.

District officials did not explain why they are searching for a new coach. It is also unclear what the district concluded at the end of its investigation into the syrup incident.

Some Paso Robles football players are publicly reaffirming their support for Schimke.

“One of the greatest coaches ever at Paso in addition to being one of the best men I have ever known. Can’t truly replace him,” outgoing senior quarterback Steven Schouten wrote on Twitter,

It is unclear if Schimke will remain a teacher at Paso Robles High School.


I’ve spent some time in locker rooms, both as a player and as a coach (yea, I have!) and I can tell you some crazy ass shit goes on amongst young men with testosterone levels through the roof! That kind of energy can influence even an older and supposedly more mature coach…

Now, I’m not sayin’ this wasn’t some weird shit, nope! It was! But consider that it may have been a dare or a bet bein’ paid up. We don’t know and I’m not sayin’ it was proper but lets not start with the “pervert” shit before we hear all of it… My whole varsity football team, including me, streaked the drive thru at the Jack-in-the-Box after losing to our rivals (a bet set up a week before the game). Not quite as weird as the belly-shot-lickin’ shit but close…

Hey circlingthedrain! Don’t talk about things you know little if anything about… You should see some of the big MFer’s who don’t care who’s the Alpha in their “jail house lovin”, and some of the small ones who damn sure are the “Alpha Dog” with their much bigger “partner”… It’s a funny and revealing world inside those fences and walls, all of you should spend at least a week in one of MY choice…. If for no other reason than to see those cheese eatin’ grins most of you have when makin’ stupid ass comments like…

“Sounds like you like men’s locker rooms due to the fact they are a little “rough and tumble”. It is the prototype for prison behavior with the alpha male being on top ;)”

So, you’ve been there, circlingthedrain? Prison? You have? Top or bottom?


Lets hope that Schimke doesn’t become another Anthony Michael Durham

“A longtime public servant and former Lompoc man of the year is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to 17 counts of child molestation charges. Anthony Michael Durham, 67, is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually abusing two children.

Durham is a former California Highway Patrol officer who retired from the agency in 2003. He received a $74,238 pension from CalPERS in 2015, according to Transparent California. Durham also did some work for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

While in retirement, Durham worked as a Lompoc police volunteer. He also served on the Lompoc City Council in 2009 after being appointed to fill a vacancy.

The Lompoc Chamber of Commerce named Durham the Lompoc Valley Man of the Year in 2008. Durham was also reportedly nominated for the Valley of Flowers Peace Prize in 2012.”

Indy thinker

Meathead comment


On Oct. 14, following a football game against San Luis Obispo High School, Schimke poured syrup in the belly button of a 17-year-old Paso Robles player and licked or pretended to lick the syrup.


What the? That’s some pretty sick chit! Between an adult coach and a minor player? On video?

That pervert should have been fired on the spot.


If it had been in the private sector that’s what would have happened, since it was public sector that never happens.


This is undignified behavior and should not be passed off as appropriate conduct under any conditions. Our society deserves to have a wholesome and safe environment; in schools, in daycare centers, in all areas that concern our youth. When more people draw a firm line and no longer tolerate situations such as these-a new line will be drawn. That new line will insist on integrity and respect for students and children in all arenas. Trauma, and the fundamental ripples it creates in society are something we should no longer tolerate, and we need to draw a circle of protection around our youth-they are our most valuable resource. Time to reset the clock to a realm where character and dignity prevail–and respect for others no matter what age they are–is the new norm.


I could not imagine a better place to start on the character-diginity-respect thing than a high school football locker room.


Sounds like you like men’s locker rooms due to the fact they are a little “rough and tumble”. It is the prototype for prison behavior with the alpha male being on top ;)


I guess I don’t know how this works, but that comment was suppose to be in response to circlingthedrain’s post….


No more Bearcat Booster support from me. When I want to watch friday night football I will drive 14 miles south and watch Atascadero.


Why would you pull your support for THE TEAM? Why? The sensible and adult thing to do is continue your support while MAYBE increasing your involvement so things like this have one more filter to pass through!

Jeez man! The other KIDS that were involved with this are probably catchin’ all kinds of hell over this and the last thing THEY need is a supporter pullin’ the one thing they need more of right now. Not to mention the football program that would lose out… Get a grip! They, the KIDS, need all the support they can get right now! Includin’ the one gettin’ licked!!!


I bet they think they have this problem licked.


Momma always said…”Stupid is, as stupid does.”


Firing this guys draws the attention away from the fact that academic administrators are robbing you blind.


So teachers should be immune from discipline as long as administrators are making too much money? I’m glad you’re not in charge of my kid’s school.


Don’t feel too sorry for any of them, look at the benefits and pensions.

Indy thinker

What is the correlation of this coach being told to step down due to the syrup incident and the administrators are “robbing” us?

the guy paso

Schmike dug in his heels and the school board called his bluff of all or none. Not a reasonable request and he got his just deserves.

Indy thinker

What are you talking about? He still teaches but he does not coach anymore.