Canyon Del Oro (CDO) High School Athletic Director David Thatcher has been forced to resign from his position following a violation of an Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) bylaw regarding student physicals.
Besides Thatcher resigning, the CDO athletics program has been placed on warning until May 19, 2015. Article 16 that of the AIA states, a warning places a school in jeopardy in that further violation of any rules or regulations may result in probation. The school is not eligible for the Overall Excellence Award during the period on warning.
According to the allegations, Thatcher, who also served as the high school’s vice principal, knowingly cleared a student to play baseball without an AIA-approved physical examination.
The physical was said to have been performed by someone who works in the medical field, but is not an AIA-approved medical provider.
On Thursday, Amphitheatre School District Director of Community Relations Mindy Blake confirmed Thatcher’s resignation from his position as athletic director and vice principal. Thatcher had worked for the district for a combined 17 years.
Shortly following Thatcher’s departure, head baseball coach Stephen Ambuehl also resigned, despite the Dorados making the playoffs. Ambuehl was hired by Thatcher.
Ambuehl led the Dorados to the second round of the Division II state playoffs, with the team finishing 22-7 overall for the year. In three years he was 65-23 at the school after replacing Len Anderson following the 2011 season.
“I will miss coaching at a great program,” Ambuehl said. “I want to thank players for their hard work and also thank the CDO administration for supporting my vision.”
(Editor’s Note: Brad Allis contributed to this story.)