Marcos de Niza football coach Roy Lopez was placed on "administrative leave" indefinitely on Wednesday and will not coach the Padres this week as the Division II playoffs begin.
Specific reasons behind Lopez's leave weren't immediately known. Lopez has coached at the school since 1996.
Offensive coordinator Sean Morin will coach the team in Lopez's absence. The Padres host Tucson Ironwood Ridge on Friday night in the first round of the postseason.
Neither Lopez, athletic director Mike Griffith or principal Frank Mirizo immediately returned messages seeking comment. Tempe Union School District spokesperson Linda Littell released a statement late Wednesday morning:
"Due to an unanticipated general leave, Marcos de Niza High School’s Varsity Head Varsity Football Coach, Roy Lopez, will not be present for the Friday night playoff game. At this time his return is undetermined."
"The Varsity Football players and parents have been informed of this change. The Marcos de Niza Varsity Football coaching staff will assume leadership for the Team for the time being."
Littell said the football team and booster club was notified early Wednesday morning.
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.