Rialto Hoops Coaches Having a Tough Run Off the Court
By Jesse B. Gill
Let’s start with the most recent Rialto High coach—Steve Johnson, the current coach of the school’s boys’ basketball squad. The San Bernardino Sun reports Johnson was inducted into the Rialto Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. The paper also named him Coach of the Year for 2010 and 2011.
The 47-year-old Johnson, a Yucaipa resident, was shot sometime before 8 p.m. Jan. 21 at Seccombe Lake Park in San Bernardino. According to police Johnson told them he stopped at the park to use the restroom while he was out to get gas.
While at the park, Johnson (who also teaches math at Rialto High) was approached by three black men, according to police. The men demanded Johnson’s wallet and he refused. The men shot Johnson multiple times in the upper body.
The unidentified gunmen ran off empty-handed after the shooting, police said. Johnson drove himself to a police station. After that, paramedics took him to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
He survived and police say they believe that he was he victim of an attempted armed robbery. What investigators don’t believe is everything Johnson told them about why he was at the park in the first place.
San Bernardino police haven’t been specific about what they think actually went on at the park—all they’ve said is that Johnson has been less than honest about why he was there and that alleged dishonesty has interfered with their investigation into the attempted robbery/shooting. Police even said they forwarded a case on to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors haven’t filed charges against Johnson, despite whatever San Bernardino cops think really happened at the park that night. The District Attorney’s Office says charges won’t be filed in relation to that case.
The same can’t be said for former Rialto High School basketball coach Floyd Eddings, who until Sunday afternoon was in custody at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga and charged with . . . well . . . a crime that high school basketball coaches—past or present—never wants to be charged with.
Eddings is charged with one count of sexual penetration by force of a minor of 14 or older, two counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child either 14 or 15-years-old and sexual penetration with a foreign object of a victim under 16-years-old.
Police believe Eddings committed those unlawful sex acts with two members of the Rialto High School girls’ basketball team—the team he coached between 1999 and 2004. He was arrested March 7 at his home in Rialto. He also coached freshman football and boys and girls track during his time at Rialto High.
He left the district in 2004 for undisclosed reasons.
At the time of his arrest, Eddings worked as a security attendant for the Corona-Unified School District. He also played NFL football as a wide receiver for the New York Giants in 1982 and 1983.
(Police say they think Eddings may have had victims that never spoke up. Anyone knowing anything about other victims are encouraged to call 909-820-2521.)
Eddings is due in court again March 18. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 20. That’s where prosecutors will lay out their case against Eddings, describing what evidence they say support the charges he’s facing.
Allow us to make something clear—VERY clear: so far, police haven’t released any information to suggest that Johnson was doing anything illegal at the park when he was shot. All police have done is tell reporters that Johnson was less than honest in his account regarding why he was there. We do not wish to suggest by mentioning him in the same blog post as Eddings that they are in any way guilty (or even accused) of the same crimes.
We’re simply pointing out that two men who at some point held the title of basketball coach at Rialto High have been under investigation in the same period of a few months.