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Santa Margarita Coach Fired After Cocaine Arrest

Kevin Orton, 48, was parked in a limo in the middle of the street when deputies offered to help. Instead, they added more angst to a football program that has been marred since winning a championship.

The star-crossed off-season of Santa Margarita Catholic's football program took another wild turn over the weekend when an assistant junior varsity coach was charged with possession and being under the influence of narcotics. He was fired by the school on Wednesday.

Kevin Lawrence Orton, 48, was wearing his Santa Margarita football polo shirt Saturday when deputies noticed his 2006 Cadillac limousine stopped in the road. The limo, in the No. 2 lane on Rancho Viejo Road near Trabuco Creek Road in San Juan Capistrano, didn't have its flashers on. 

Deputies approached to assist the apparently disabled vehicle, but according to Orange County Sheriff spokesman Jim Amormino, noticed a white powdery substance in a coffee cup on the console, a $20 bill rolled into a cylinder with traces of white on it, and driver Orton showing signs of being under the influence.

Deputies conducted a field test on the substance and found it tested positive for cocaine, authorities said.

Orton was an assistant on the junior varsity team in 2011 but also involved in scouting for the varsity program. He was hired as an assistant golf coach in July 2010 (golf is a spring sport).

Stephen Bohannon, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, said the school became aware of Orton's arrest on Monday and placed him on unpaid administrative leave; he was fired Wednesday.

Here is a statement sent to SMCHS parents from president Paul Carey and principal Ray Dunne:

In the interest of making you aware of a recent situation involving one of our coaches, we wanted to inform you that effective today Kevin Orton, a JV football and frosh-soph boys golf coach, is no longer employed at Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

Orton was arrested in San Juan Capistrano early Saturday, Feb. 4, on suspicion of possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Following the arrest, Orton was immediately placed on leave and terminated Wednesday.

According to court records, in March 1998, a Kevin Lawrence Orton was  charged with possession of a controlled substance but the case was dismissed. In May 2003, he was charged with battery and assault. Those charges were dismissed, but he did plead guilty to disturbing the peace.

Orton's arrest is the latest black mark since the end of a football season in which the team won the Southern Section Pac-5 title and then the California State Division I Bowl Championship.

, who just finished his second season with Santa Margarita and has gone 22-5 with a program that had won only six games in the two seasons prior to his hiring, remains on administrative leave. He was placed on leave on Jan. 20 while Orange County Sheriff deputies as well as the Diocese of Orange and SMCHS conducted a review of an incident in which he was alleged to have shoved or pushed a student-athlete on Dec. 13, between the Pac-5 title game and the State Bowl. The with assault, but  for his return; Bohannon said the review is ongoing.

The Welch incident came to light after two of his varsity assistants, Sean Coen and Robert Hendricks, to misdemeanor possession of marijuana early in the season.

Initially, the school defended the two men's inclusion on the coaching staff, but backtracked and fired the men after it was revealed that it was a plea deal and new information had become available. Coen, Hendricks and St. Margaret offensive line coach Charles Spann had originally been charged with felony counts of cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale before taking the plea deal.

Flannery4 February 13, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Huddleston, how did Mr. Henderson attack Harry Welch?? He merely reported the FACTS. How did Mr. Henderson "throw the fine high school football players....under the bus?" The article doesn't even mention the players! Are you reading something that no one else is reading? The article is very straightforward and factual! You are such the apologist for this school, despite the corruption that runs rampant throughout this football program. And you say the players won, not the coaches??? So the coaches just came along for the ride? You write such foolish things sir. You attack the author of the article for merely reporting the FACTS because they disturb your fantasy of a pristine football program at this school. Finally, where in your fantasyland did you ever get the idea that the author of the article was siding with local politicians???? What in the world are you talking about? This article says NOTHING about politicians, local or otherwise!
Chris Fore February 13, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Which coach died?
StandAndBeHeard February 13, 2012 at 08:23 AM
He was driving it, not riding in it. He was employed as a limo driver.
StandAndBeHeard February 13, 2012 at 08:24 AM
Recheck your Kudos. Read: http://ranchosantamargarita.patch.com/articles/st-margaret-s-coach-facing-more-felonies
Peter February 15, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Blaming Dunne or Carey are excellent people and don't deserve to be held responsible for these issues SM has had. If anyone should be punished, it should be the head of the Athletic Department, for ultimately overseeing all of this mess.

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