Mark Munoz is no stranger to combat sports. When he took on a job as a high school wrestling coach, it wasn’t long until the decision to hire him came under scrutiny. He was placed under administrative leave after reports that he told kids to box each other to settle their issues.
It seems like an unconventional thing to do, even for a wrestling coach. He may come from a background where he deals with grappling and martial arts. However, the school system and even the parents didn’t seem to take this lightly.
Munoz noticed two students arguing on the playground. He was not sure what the two were arguing about. He suggested that the two duke it out using boxing gloves.
Munoz stated that the boxing match was more of a jovial fight than one of absolute violence. One of the boys’ parents learned about this and the administration caught wind of it. A spokesperson for the school said that Munoz was placed on administrative leave and his contract will expire.
The school will not renew Munoz’s contract and has taken measures so that he cannot return to campus. At first, they were happy to add him to their staff as a member of the athletic staff. However, they might be thinking twice before hiring former UFC fighters for such jobs after this incident.
Munoz was in the UFC from 2009 to 2015. He was known for fighting Damien Maia in 2011. His other fights included Lyoto Machica and Chris Weidman.
Munoz retired from the sport and had lived in California since his retirement. His job as a wrestling coach may have ended prematurely. However, it may serve as a teaching lesson for Munoz on how things should, and should not, be settled in a school setting.
Schools are always preaching about zero tolerance for violence and bullying. Of course, the parents were concerned about the safety of their children. Reporting the incident to the staff may have been the right thing to do.
As for Munoz, it’s unclear where he’ll go from here. One thing may be for sure, he may have a tough time getting hired as a wrestling coach at some point in the near future. While an impromptu boxing match may work outside of school, inside a school can raise questions about how kids are being treated during school hours.