HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo (CBS4) – The head football coach of Highlands Ranch High School has resigned, and the district has removed him from payroll, after deputies believed he might have been involved with a cover-up.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office told CBS4 Mark Robinson was at the center of their investigation, after suspicious activity surrounding a scheduled narcotics search at the high school.
According to a report, Robinson also served at the high school as assistant principal.
The report said deputies notified Robinson at 9:33 a.m. that a K9 unit would be on the campus of Highlands Ranch High School on Aug. 24 to conduct a routine search by 10:00 a.m.
According to the report, school security officers set a perimeter around the campus, to make sure students would not flee during the search.
However, moments before the search began, security reported seeing Robinson driving off campus in a football player’s car.
CBS4 is not reporting the student’s identity as he was listed as a minor.
According to Deputy Jason Blanchard of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, security guards confronted Robinson about his actions as he left.
Robinson allegedly told security he was taking the car to get gas for the student.
According to the sheriff’s office, Robinson later returned to the campus without the car.
“It did spark our interest; what (was Robinson) trying to hide?” Blanchard said.
Deputies said Robinson lived across the street from the school, where the vehicle was located in his driveway.
The K9 officer was assigned to take the drug-sniffing dog to Robinson’s home. When the K9 passed the vehicle, deputies say the dog positively alerted to the scent of narcotics in the vehicle.
“There is a long range of drugs these dogs are trained for. We can’t speculate what it was alerting to,” Blanchard said.
According to the incident report, deputies pulled the student in to an office for an interview.
Deputies said the student athlete claimed he left his car at home that day. However, when they asked where his home was, so they could locate the car, he couldn’t give a location for the home.
Deputies then told the student they found the car across the street from the school at a home, which he acknowledged was Robinson’s home. Deputies asked if Robinson had the car that day, and the student said he allowed the coach to take the vehicle.
When asked why the vehicle was taken, the student allegedly said Robinson was taking the car to get clothes and shoes. The student never mentioned a need for gas.
Deputies asked for permission to search the vehicle, and the student allegedly said he didn’t want a dog in his car. When deputies asked to allow human search in the vehicle, the student responded with “(I) do not like cops like that.”
Criminal charges were not immediately filed. However, Blanchard claimed the investigation was still ongoing.
The following statement from Robinson was released by the district, who told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas Robinson was no longer employed by the district:
I want to let you know that I have made the decision to resign as Head Football Coach at Ranch. This past year I have gone through a lot of things and have noticed that I was slipping in my duties as the head coach. I believe that you need to be in it 100% just like you ask of your players. At this time I am unable to give that effort and after conversations with my wife and Dr. Page I made this decision. I know the team will be in good hands with the current staff we have in place and I am willing to support them with anything they need in this transition and throughout the season. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with your boys.
Thanks for all the support over the past three years,
Neighbors of Robinson told CBS4 they were shocked to hear of the investigation. Every neighbor CBS4 spoke with said Robinson was a family man.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.