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Amid investigation, East Ridge coach Mike Pendino resigns


East Ridge High School head football coach Mike Pendino has resigned amid school district investigation into player ineligibility.

According to the South Washington County Bulletin, Pendino submitted his resignation to Assistant Superintendent Mike Johnson on Monday.

"He won't be returning for the season at all," said Barb Brown the district's communications director.

East Ridge players and coaches were notified of Pendino's resignation on Monday. The news comes about a month after East Ridge was forced to forfeit games and post-season conference and section championships it's won over the past two years, because the team's roster included an ineligible player who did not live within the school district's boundaries.

Pendino started with the program prior to the 2009 season as an assistant coach. He took over as the program's head coach in 2010. He led the Raptors to an 8-2 record two seasons ago and a 9-2 record last year, which included a state tournament birth last fall before they lost to Eden Prairie in the quarterfinals.

Former Raptors standout and Gophers recruit Jojo Garcia told the Star Tribune last week that he was the ineligible player and has since transferred to Simley High School. Garcia is not eligible to play this fall.

Brown told the the Bulletin the investigation continues to look at other claims of ineligible East Ridge football players.

Pendino's resignation comes on the heals of the resignation of former activities director Jon Hinzman last month after he was also the subject of a District 833 investigation.

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