Investigators looking at alleged assault by Juneau football coach

Oregon investigators are taking the lead in the case of an assistant Juneau high school football coach who allegedly knocked out a student during a sparring match.

Juneau Police Sargent Chris Burke says the Juneau School District notified them about the incident on Friday.

We have seen the video. So we’re assisting the agency in Oregon that will be the lead investigators on it. We still working with jurisdictional things right now. But, because most of the people that were involved in it are here in Juneau, we’ll be assisting them with interviews and things like that.”

Oregon authorities will likely decide whether to press charges after the investigation wraps up.

The incident during last summer’s trip to football camp in Gold Beach was apparently captured on video. John Wahl, an assistant coach for the Thunder Mountain High School football team and parent of a team member, engages in a boxing match with an incoming freshman player. Both were reportedly wearing gloves. Wahl allegedly sucker punches the boy, and the boy collapses unconscious as the coach allegedly celebrates.

Wahl also works as a teacher at a Juneau middle school.

Juneau Schools Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich did not return calls seeking comment.

But in an earlier email he stated that two coaches were placed on administrative leave pending outcome of the investigation. He did not name the two coaches.

Gelbrich said that they turned the matter over to the Juneau Police Department, filed a report with the state’s Office of Children’s Services, and are cooperating with the investigation.

Gelbrich also said that he’s concerned about emerging details of the allegations, and that it went unreported for nearly nine months.

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