The varsity football coach at Brea Olinda High School, known as one of Orange County's most colorful coaches, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of felony evasion of arrest while transporting methamphetamine, authorities said.
Jon Noel Looney, 48, was being held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail while awaiting arraignment today. "I won't even address it," said Denise Miller, a board member of the Brea Olinda Unified School District where Looney has been the head coach for 15 years. "You'll have to talk to my superintendent."
Other school officials could not be reached late Tuesday.
Looney was arrested about 1:25 a.m. Sunday after police noticed him "acting suspiciously" in the parking lot of a motel just over the Brea city line in Anaheim, Buena Park Police Lt. Jeff Kingsbury said.
When officers attempted to question him, Kingsbury said, the coach left the parking lot in his car "driving evasively at a high rate of speed and running red lights." After running a light with officers in pursuit near the Santa Ana Freeway, Kingsbury said, Looney hit a car, got out of his vehicle and threw a bag on the street.
Before being arrested, the spokesman said, he kicked at least one of the officers. And when they looked in the bag, Kingsbury said, the officers found methamphetamine and marijuana.
According to Kingsbury, Looney was out on bail for a previous felony at the time of his arrest. He said he did not know the nature of that crime.
Looney, who in 1999 led Brea to its first Southern Section championship game in 36 years, took the next season off to spend more time with his three sons. Looney guided Brea to an undefeated season and a section title in 2001.
"The bottom line," he said in 1999, "is I got tired of having to juggle so much and not doing everything the way it needed to be done. It just got where it wasn't manageable to be a father, a teacher and a football coach. I need a break to rethink how I do things."