High school football coach is caught stealing money from his players.
John D. Roanhaus, 42, a New Mexico football coach, was caught on camera stealing money from his players’ lockers. He was charge with larceny and non-residential burglary, according to court records.
“Just why? Like honestly why. We are kids. We trusted you. You were our coach. We would never think of you like that,” said Sean Matthew Garcia, a junior at Miyamura High. ‘You were supposed to be a mentor, someone to guide us to be good and greater adults.”
When it was first noticed that money was missing, Roanhaus attempted to blame his players and he even made them to run laps as “punishment,” according to records.
State police say the students had set up a camera inside of a locker, hoping to “surveil the locker, to catch the perpetrator stealing money from the students.”
“We were finally like, ‘we’re going to find you doing it,’”‘ player Jordan Stewart, a senior, said, when the players decided to set the video up to catch the perpetrator. He was shocked by what it captured.
“We saw him doing it.” Stewart said. “He lied to our face when we asked about it.”
After reviewing the footage of Roanhaus going into the school’s locker room and stealing $40, the coach was arrested and charged. In the video, he shoves the money in his sock.
An officer was contacted by a student’s mother who supplied authorities with the evidence and Officer Nathaniel Renteria wrote the arrest warrant. The mother told Renteria it wasn’t the first time that players had experienced locker room theft.
In court, the players said their coach demanded whoever was stealing to come forward and confess. When no one did, he made them run around the track. Officers are still investigating whether Roanhaus took any money from a track fundraiser and said that more misdemeanor charges could be added as the story unfolds.
“It just is heartbreaking. I had two grandsons who played football for him, and two grand-nephews who played on the team, also,” Yavon Devlin said.
Roanhaus is the youngest son of New Mexico Hall of Fame coach Eric Roanhaus, who retired in 2016 as head football coach at Clovis High School. After being terminated, an attorney representing Roanhaus said the former coach “has had difficulty finding a new job and would be better off making his next appearance by phone.” The judge granted the request. But he won’t get any sympathy from the school that terminated him or the players and their families.
“It’s just an injustice this man has these boys trust and he does this to them and now he gets to find a job because he can’t get a job here. Who trusts him? We don’t. These boys don’t,” Emily Marcus, mother of one of the players, said. “These boys have their lives to him for all these months and he steals from them and he gets to walk free.”
Roanhaus will appear in court again for a pre-trial hearing, but the date for that appearance has not yet been released.