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Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Prep coach to resign rather than face criminal charges

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- A high school wrestling coach accused of biting a wrestler in the leg has agreed to resign rather than face possible criminal charges, police said.

Mike Marshall bit the Central Cambria High School wrestler at practice on Jan. 21, Cambria Township police officer James McGough said.

"The coach was wrestling with him and bit him in the leg, the upper thigh," McGough said.

The bite caused bruising but did not draw blood, McGough said. The student, who McGough did not identify, did not want to prosecute and opted to drop the matter if Marshall agreed to resign, police said.

Marshall's attorney, John D. Messina, said the incident was "completely innocent" and not malicious.

"The incident occurred while he was joking around with one of the wrestlers," Messina said. "Certainly it was poor judgment and it cost him his job."

Marshall was expected to resign Wednesday, Messina said.

Marshall, 36, a probation officer in the Cambria County Department of Juvenile Probation, declined to talk about what happened.

"Everything I say gets misconstrued," Marshall told The Associated Press. "I've been drug [dragged] through the mud."

Marshall said he has coached all his life. This was his first season as Central Cambria's coach.

A message left for the school superintendent was not immediately returned.