EUGENE, Ore. -- An assistant principal in the Marcola School District is on administrative leave, accused of stealing funds while coaching in Eugene School District 4J.
Travis Tubbs, 36, of Eugene was cited for first-degree theft on Thursday. He is currently the assistant principal at Mohawk Middle/Senior High School in Marcola.
Tubbs was head wrestling coach at Sheldon High School from 2014 until last year. He is accused of using money from a fundraising account intended for the wrestling team. Police said the charge of first-degree theft is related to a transaction in March 2018 but said there was activity spread out over 24 to 30 months.
While police have not said how much money was allegedly taken they said the charge of first-degree theft by definition means the amount is $1,000 or more.
Carol Free has a granddaughter at Mohawk Middle/Senior High School and said she's only had a positive experience with Tubbs.
"Anytime that I have ever had an issue, personal issue, or an emotional issue or school issue, he takes private time out," Free said. "We had a lot of one-on-ones with him and I'm saddened to hear any of this. I hope nothing is true."
4J spokesperson Kerry Delf said they called police after concerns were brought to the district’s attention regarding possible financial irregularities with wrestling team funds.
Delf said the account is not managed by the district and said the money is meant to help purchase equipment and pay for entry fees for the K-8 wrestling club. The district is continuing to review financial procedures and controls for school-related teams and clubs
Below is a statement Sheldon Principal Dr. Bob Bolden sent out to parents:
Dear Sheldon families,
I want to let you know some unfortunate news. Former wrestling coach Travis Tubbs was recently arrested by Eugene Police on felony theft charges. Mr. Tubbs was Sheldon’s head wrestling coach from the 2014–15 through 2017–18 seasons. He is no longer employed in Eugene School District 4J.
Concerns were recently brought to our attention regarding possible financial irregularities with team funds during Mr. Tubbs’ time at Sheldon. The school district informed the police, and the investigation led to Mr. Tubbs’ arrest.
While I can't comment on the specifics of the investigation, I can assure you that we take financial stewardship very seriously and expect all athletic team and booster club funds to be managed and spent appropriately. The district is cooperating fully with the police investigation and will pursue the restoration of the missing funds. The district is continuing to review financial procedures and controls for school-related teams and clubs.
I know how upset and disappointed you may feel at this news. I hope you won't let this regrettable situation cast a shadow over our school, our athletics program, and the other coaches and school staff members who show their trustworthiness and their dedication to our students every day. If you have questions or concerns, please email me.