HS coach suspended after slapping QB

A Florida high school football coach has been suspended for two

weeks of athletics activities after video of him aggressively

slapping a player’s helmet following a bad play went


Mark Guandolo’s Cypress Bay team was trailing American

Heritage 14-7 in the second quarter of a nationally televised 38-14

loss Sunday when Cypress Bay senior quarterback Lucas Tellefsen

overthrew an open receiver on third down.

As Tellefsen approached the sideline, he was confronted by three

coaches, and after a short discussion, Guandolo made contact with

Tellefsen’s helmet as he walked away:


target="_blank">According to the Sun-Sentinel, Broward County

Schools on Monday suspended 55-year-old Guandolo for three days of

work — he is a physical education teacher at the school

— as well as two weeks of athletic activities.

“I expect every staff member to adhere to the highest

professional standards in every aspect of their interactions with

our students, ” Broward Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie

told the paper in a statement.

Added Guandolo: “It’s disappointing and it’s not

something I’m proud of. I have great respect for the


It’s unknown whether Guandolo could face further penalties

for the slap, but the quarterback’s father said he does not

want to see any further punishment levied against the coach.

“It’s a non-issue,” Eric Tellefsen told the Sun-Sentinel.

“We’re 110 percent fine with this. We don’t want

anything to happen to Coach G. He means the world to the school and

this football team and he wants nothing but the best for these

kids. It’s an unfortunate circumstance.

“… He’s coached two of my older sons that are in college

on football scholarships. There’d be a line wrapped around

the corner if you called his players and wanted to know what

he’s done for them.”

Shortly after making contact with the quarterback’s

helmet, Guandolo can be seen reaching to grab Tellefsen as the

camera cuts back to game action. According to Eric Tellefsen,

Guandolo was giving his son a hug that was not seen on


“I was trying to get him ready and fire him up,” Guandolo told

the Sun-Sentinel. “It was his first start ever and emotions were

running high. He had people coming at him and there’s no easy

way to get him ready for that.

“I was just trying to fire him up, but you can’t do it in

today’s day and age.”

Guandolo started coaching at Cypress Bay in 2007 and led the

team to a 56-19 record in his first six years on the job. Last

season, he guided Cypress Bay to the Class 8A state championship

game, making him the first coach in Florida history to lead three

different schools to the state title game.

He coached Miami Southridge to a state runner-up finish in 1999

and took Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna to state championship

games in 2002, 2003 and 2005, winning in 2003 and 2005.