Coach tries to pull swimmer by hair, resigns days later

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

An assistant swim coach has resigned from his position days after sparking an ignominious controversy which may be deemed criminal in a court of law at a future date.

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According to FOX 40 News in Sacramento, Roseville (Calif.) High assistant swimming coach Geoff Capell attempted to pull the captain of the school's girls swimming team, Jennifer McCarroll, out of the pool by her hair following a race in the Sierra Foothill League Swimming Championships. Roseville's girls finished fifth out of six teams at the meet.

While no official rationale for the hair-pulling incident has been given, it's believed that Capell was furious at McCarroll and another of the team's swimmers for what he considered to be an "intentional disqualification." The other swimmer involved has yet to be identified.

"We're very sorry that this unfortunate incident occurred," Roseville Joint Unified School District Director of Pupil Services Steve Williams said in a statement to the press. "A physical response like this by any coach for any reason cannot and will not be supported."

Capell resigned from his position as assistant swimming coach after the furor over the incident spilled into the media, but he may not be in the clear yet. FOX 40 reported that the parents for McCarroll filed a police report citing Capell's hair-pulling as misdemeanor battery, with the Roseville Police Department expected to send that report on to the county's district attorney office.

While McCarroll's parents and others are rightly upset about the senior being pulled up by her scalp, other swim parents have allegedly defended the assistant coach's actions due to the disqualification that sparked them. That disqualification is expected to land both McCarroll and the other swimmer some type of a disciplinary response from the team's head swimming coach, who happens to be Capell's daughter, Kelly Capell.

Whether or not the relationship between the head and assistant coach has any effect on the swimmers' punishment remains to be seen, but the incident itself certainly cast a pall over the rest of the Roseville team's entire season.

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