Future unclear for Pahranagat Valley football coach after charges

Updated April 19, 2017 - 8:49 pm

ALAMO — When Pahranagat Valley’s football team takes the field next season, it is unclear whether longtime coach Ken Higbee will be with it.

Higbee was charged with a 225-count criminal complaint last week, according to court records from Meadow Valley Justice Court in Pioche. Also the principal of C.O. Bastian High School in Caliente, Higbee faces 76 felony counts that include theft, forgery and misconduct.

Despite the charges, officials at Pahranagat Valley were noncommittal on Higbee’s future with the school.

“Just because there are charges doesn’t mean that anybody is guilty,” principal Mike Strong said Wednesday. “Supposedly in our country we’re innocent until proven we’re guilty. So we’ll see.”

Higbee led the Panthers to a national eight-man record with 104 straight victories and won eight consecutive state championships before falling in the Class 1A state title game to Spring Mountain in November.

Strong and athletic director Brad Loveday confirmed Higbee has been on paid administrative leave since November 2015, following that year’s football season. Loveday said in January he was expecting Higbee’s resignation, calling it a “pretty sure thing” to happen, but had not received it as of Wednesday.

“As of now, he is still the football coach,” Loveday said. “We don’t have any resignation from him or anything like that. It’s totally up to him.”

Neither Loveday nor Strong was willing to discuss termination of Higbee and deferred all questions relating to the possibility of his firing to the Lincoln County School District. Strong said the district put Higbee on administrative leave and that he had no part in it.

District superintendent Pam Teel returned a phone call requesting an interview, but declined to answer any questions involving Higbee, even to confirm if it was the district that put him on leave.

Court records show Higbee’s alleged improper use of funds also benefited other school athletic teams, including baseball, which Loveday coaches. Loveday said he had no reason to believe the new equipment was obtained illegally.

“I don’t think so,” Loveday said. “I’d feel much better answering after the court case.”

Strong declined to comment on any money that allegedly came from C.O. Bastian, or how the money was used.

Higbee is a beloved member of the Alamo community. Strong and Loveday called him one of their best friends, and that his contributions to the town go beyond winning games on the football field.

Alamo resident Kirk Mason graduated in 2004 after playing for Higbee. He said he hopes the charges against Higbee prove to be false, and that it hurts him to see his former coach face these charges.

“I really don’t think he would intentionally go out of his way to hurt,” Mason said. “I know he wouldn’t. He’s just not that kind of person.”

As for football, there is no answer on whether Higbee will continue to coach Pahranagat Valley. And no preliminary hearing has been set. 

“Time is going to tell,” Strong said. “Hopefully the case will move on, and we can get to an end here before the season starts and then we’ll go from there and see.”

Contact Justin Emerson at jemerson@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2944. Follow @J15Emerson on Twitter.

Criminal complaint against Ken Higbee by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

Affidavits supporting complaints against Ken Higbee by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

Crime Videos
Domestic disturbance call ends in suicide
A man died by suicide after police tried negotiating with him outside of his ex-girlfriend’s home on March 13. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
20-year-old armed robbery suspect shot by Las Vegas police
A 20-year-old armed robbery suspect shot by a Las Vegas officer on Saturday night is also accused of burglarizing a Boys & Girls Club minutes before the shooting.
Metro briefing on OIS near downtown Las Vegas
Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Kelly McMahill briefs the media on a officer-involved shooting near Ninth Street and Bonanza Road on March 19, 2019. Mike Shoro/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Man robs restaurant with large kitchen knife
On March 16, 2019, at approximately 6:00 PM, an armed robbery occurred at a local restaurant located near East Charleston and Eastern. The suspect entered the business with a large knife, demanding money from the registers. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Metro Addresses Ois At Bellagio (Full Press Conference)
Las Vegas Metro police address the officer involved shooting that took place on March 15, 2019, at the Bellagio.
Metro Addresses OIS At Bellagio
Las Vegas police address the officer involved shooting that took place on March 15, 2019, at the Bellagio. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Parents facing murder charges held without bail
Lakeia Walker and Ricky Beasley, the parents of missing 3-year-old Zaela Walker, appeared briefly in North Las Vegas Court on camera from the Clark County Detention Center as they made their first appearance in court.
Metro briefing on OIS at Bellagio
Metro Capt. Nichole Splinter briefs the media on an officer-involved shooting in front of the Bellagio on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DUI Blitz
Metropolitan Police Department Traffic Sergeant David Stoddard discusses a law enforcement “DUI blitz” on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in the Las Vegas Valley. About 100 Metro and Nevada Highway Patrol officers searched the valley for impaired drivers between 5 p.m. Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Commercial Robbery On 3000 Block Of North Las Vegas Blvd - VIDEO
On February 19th, 2019, at approximately 10:23 am, a robbery occurred to a business located on the 3000 block of North Las Vegas Boulevard. The pictured suspect entered the business, approached the counter and pointed a firearm at the victim demanding money. The victim complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported.
Alexis Plunkett denied bail
Alexis Plunkett, the jailed Las Vegas defense lawyer enmeshed in a pair of felony cases, will remain behind bars while awaiting trial, a judge decided Thursday. (Mat Luschek /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Bounty Hunter Chases Down Porch Pirate
A would-be thief tried to steal a package from the home of Alex Mazzola. Mazzola, a former bounty hunter, chased after the suspect.
Atkinson pleads guilty
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge Monday.
Atkinson pleads guilty to wire fraud charges
U.S. Attorney’s Office announces plea deal for charges against former Nevada Senate majority leader Kelvin Atkinson during a press conference on Monday, March 11, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleads guilty
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge Monday, less than a week after resigning from his post. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Lt. Isaac Henn talks about the use of body-worn cameras in the Henderson Police Department
Lt. Isaac Henn talks about the implementation of body-worn cameras in the Henderson Police Department. (Bizuayehu tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Body Camera Footage Custody Death (FULL)
Las Vegas police showed one clip of body camera footage Wednesday to the family of a man who died in their custody three days earlier. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metro police brief public on recent custody death
Las Vegas police showed a clip of body camera footage Wednesday to the family of a man who died in their custody three days earlier. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Police investigating possible homicide
Metro police are investigating a possible homicide near mile marker 14 on route 147. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metro Police Press Conference On Chinatown Thefts
Las Vegas Metro Police Dept. held a press conference Wednesday to discuss crime in the Chinatown area.
Police Update on Barricade Situation on Emerson Avenue
Las Vegas Metro Police Lieutenant Michelle Tavarez provides an update on the barricade situation at Emerson Avenue.
DEA Launches New Program To Combat Opioid Epidemic
The Drug Enforcement Administration is launching a new effort in Nevada to combat the opioid epidemic.
North Las Vegas Blvd Robbery 1
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man suspected of robbing a business at gunpoint on the morning of Feb. 19, 2019 in the northeast valley. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
North Las Vegas Blvd Robbery 2
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man suspected of robbing a business at gunpoint on the morning of Feb. 19, 2019 in the northeast valley. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
North Las Vegas robbery at a business
Robbery of a business in the 1600 block of North Main Street in North Las Vegas. If you know the suspects or have seen them before please contact the North Las Vegas Police Department at 702-633-9111 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.
Burglary at Made In Argentina restaurant
Pablo Rodriguez, owner of the Made in Argentina restaurant on Valley View Boulevard, describes the scene of the burglary that took place at his business on Sunday morning. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle hit on US 95 in Las Vegas
Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Adam Whitmarsh was on a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 95, north of Ann Road, about 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb 16, 2019, when a Honda CRV struck the back of the patrol car, causing the car to crash into the stopped vehicle. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
NYE Homicide suspects (1 of 2)
Las Vegas police are asking for help locating three men suspected in a deadly shooting on New Year’s Eve inside a southwest valley home. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
NYE Homicide suspects (2 of 2)
Las Vegas police are asking for help locating three men suspected in a deadly shooting on New Year’s Eve inside a southwest valley home. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Las Vegas police look for masked armed robbery suspect
Las Vegas police are looking for a masked man suspected of an armed robbery Feb. 14 in the west valley. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Las Vegas police officer found guilty of sexually abusing a child
Las Vegas police officer Bret Theil was found guilty Wednesday of 28 counts, including sexual assault, lewdness with a child, child abuse and kidnapping.
Police, friends gather to bring attention to Celia Luna-Delgado's homicide case
Las Vegas police and loved ones of Celia Luna-Delgado, a homicide victim, gathered in an attempt to bring attention to the case. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Police Update on Fremont Street Shooting
Lt. Ray Spencer gives an update regarding a homicide investigation that occurred in front of a bus stop near Fremont Street and Casino Center, involving a security officer and another male.
LVMPD Looking For Blue Bucket Bandit - VIDEO
On December 31, 2018 detectives with the LVMPD Northwest Area Command Patrol Investigations Section received a report of the theft of a surveillance camera from the front porch of a residence located in the area of West Lake Mead Boulevard and North Rampart Boulevard. The victim in this case became aware of other residents in the neighborhood who had been the victim of similar crimes.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing