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Without warning or explanation, first-year Elsie Allen football coach Bill Wight and an assistant were fired Monday evening, sparking questions about the hapless program’s future.

Wight stepped in early this season after another head coach took the job briefly but abruptly quit during spring practices, before the season even began.

But on Monday, school Principal Mary Gail Stablein told athletic director Madison Lott to cancel football practice while she fired Wight and his offensive line coach, Shaun Montecino.

Neither man was given an explanation, Wight said. He said he still hadn’t received one as of Tuesday afternoon.

Contacted by phone Tuesday, Stablein repeatedly refused to confirm the firings or what led to them, saying it was a personnel issue. She also refused to say who would coach the team for the final two games.

Lott, however, confirmed that he will serve as head coach for the final two weeks of the season. Lott coached last year, but gave up the post to concentrate on boys basketball and his job as AD.

He referred questions about the coaching change to Stablein, but confirmed that he wasn’t told why Wight and Montecino were let go.

“I don’t even know what transpired,” he said. “Who knows what the outcome will be with this.”

The Lobos are winless this year (0-4 in the Sonoma County League and 0-8 overall) and some weeks had trouble keeping enough kids academically eligible to compete, Wight said.

On Friday, just five days after the coaching shuffle, the Lobos are scheduled to play undefeated and top-ranked Analy (4-0, 8-0) at home in what is expected to be a massively lopsided win for the Tigers. The Lobos are scheduled to finish the season Nov. 6 at Sonoma Valley.

“I have every anticipation of playing and the kids doing the best they can,” Lott said of the final two weeks.

Without an explanation, Wight said he and others are left to speculate as to what happened between Friday night’s 59-9 loss at Petaluma and Monday’s scheduled practice.

He heard rumors that the administration was concerned about a player safety issue on Friday. A couple of players were checked out for possible concussions, but Wight said he did not put a seriously injured player back in the game.

“Anybody who knows me, knows I would never do that,” he said. “I’m down 50 points, I’m not trying to win or anything at that point.”

Wight suggested that, if safety issues were a concern, someone may have misinterpreted comments on the sideline or coaches’ questions to athletes about whether they could remain in the game.

But he said Stablein didn’t ask for any information about injuries or any other incidents on Monday, just told him: “We’re letting you go.” He said she declined to say why. Coaches, who are paid a small stipend, are at-will employees who can be let go for no reason.

One Lobo player, who asked that his name not be used, on Tuesday defended both coaches and said no one was subbed back in the game after being hurt.

Elsie Allen has an athletic trainer who attends home games and occasionally an away game, Lott said.

Wight said the trainer was on the sidelines Friday. Coaches also receive concussion training.

If a player is determined to have a concussion, there is a strict protocol schools must follow before the player can even begin practicing again. They cannot play in a game for at least seven days.

But not having any answer from administration is frustrating, Wight said.

“It’d be fine if they told me, ‘You did this and it’s not acceptable,’ ” he said. “I didn’t do anything but positive things for this program since I’ve been here.

“The biggest thing is what this does to the program. I have great rapport with kids. I had kids who worked hard to get their grades up and be able to play. That’s more important to me than the score on the board. Those kids worked their butts off to improve as people.”

Wight, a Montgomery grad and longtime coach in Idaho, took over Elsie Allen knowing it was a troubled program that has received little administrative support, had put up more than a decade of unproductive seasons and had had seven head coaching changes since 2005 — eight with Wight’s.

The Lobos have won three football games in the past seven years. The last time the Lobos won was in Sept. 2013, when they beat Willits.

Still, Wight accepted the challenge and even called it his “dream job” since he was returning to coach in Santa Rosa after playing football at Montgomery and Sonoma State University. He spent a decade coaching youth and high school teams in Idaho.

Other area coaches supported Wight and said he is a skilled coach. One said he even asked about player safety recently when Elsie lost several players to academic ineligibility and junior varsity players might have to be called up to field a team.

“He’s been great for the program,” said Piner coach John Antonio. “Although they’ve struggled on the field, they’ve looked good, especially their JV.

“I would love to bring him on over here. He’s so positive and he works his butt off. No doubt he’s going to get hired again. He’s a great coach.”

You can reach Lori A. Carter at 521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @loriacarter.