August 29, 2014

Elyria
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Coach fined, expelled for hitting a referee

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The pee wee football coach who hit a referee after disagreeing with him during a game was found guilty of Wednesday in North Ridgeville Mayor’s Court.

Mark Klanac, 26, of North Ridgeville, was ordered to pay more than $200 in fines and court costs by Mayor’s Court Magistrate Renee Zafarana after he pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct charges after provoking a fight with referee Randall Grass, 40, of Avon Lake.

Klanac

Klanac was coaching his North Ridgeville League pee wee football team Sept. 8 in Frontier Park when he became outraged that Grass didn’t call a penalty and struck him in the back of the head as he was walking away, according to North Ridgeville police.

Grass turned around and punched Klanac in the head, and parents and coaches watching the game were forced to separate the men.

Grass was not hurt in the incident, and told police he didn’t wish to pursue charges.

Klanac received a slight bruise to the side of his head. He declined to comment.

The North Ridgeville Football League’s pee wee division has players up to 8.

The city has no involvement with the league other than to allow the league to use Frontier Park for its games.

Klanac has been expelled as a coach, while Grass has been suspended for the rest of the year, according to a letter from the league sent to Mayor David Gillock.

Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.