Former Coach Ryan Towner has coached basketball in the Coachella Valley since 2006

Former Shadow Hills High School boys’ basketball coach Ryan Towner, who was fired two days ago, was arrested Thursday, June 10,  on suspicion of rape and forced sexual acts with a minor, according a release from to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department jail records show that Towner, 35, was arrested by the Rancho Mirage Police Department at 9 a.m. Thursday near the intersection of Jefferson Street and Fred Waring Drive in La Quinta. Towner was arrested on suspicion of six felonies, including rape and forced oral copulation with a minor.

It all started on April 23rd, 2021, when the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department received information regarding a past sexual assault. The sexual assault involved the 31-year-old head coach of a travel basketball team and a 16-year-old female player. The incidents occurred between August 2017 and July 2018.

Former Coach Accused of Rape, Oral CopulationOn June 10th, 2021, Ryan Towner, a 2004 graduate of Cathedral City High School,  was arrested on charges of rape of a minor under duress and oral copulation of a minor under duress. Towner was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center, in Indio, on the above-listed charges.

He is being held at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio and his bail has been set at $55,000. Charges have not been filed against him and he is scheduled to be in court June 14.

Towner previously pleaded guilty in 2007 to felony intent to defraud in Riverside County.

Towner has coached basketball in the Coachella Valley since 2006. Before taking the head coaching job at Shadow Hills in May 2018, Towner coached at Palm Springs High as an assistant coach of six consecutive Desert Valley League championship teams.

He played basketball and ran track, in which he still holds school records for both, at Cathedral City High School. Prior to taking on his first head coaching job at Shadow Hills, Towner coached at PSHS under Dennis Zink as a varsity assistant where they won six straight league titles and went as far as the semi-finals in CIF playoffs. Towner was also the head freshman coach where he went 64-2 in three years, winning the Max Preps Winter Classic in the JV division two out of three years (as a freshman team).

In Towner’s first two seasons at Shadow Hills, the Knights had  a combined record of 49-13 (.790). In Towner’s first year, his team took second in DEL and made it past the first round of playoffs which was a school record.  Coach Towner and the Knights made history, winning their first DEL league title and also becoming CIF-SS 3A CHAMPIONS which was also a first for Shadow Hills.

During that incredible journey the boys were featured on ESPN for top 10 plays, ranked 49th in CA, ranked 26th in southern CA, ranked 15th in division 3, and ranked 1st in Division 3A, according to California Storm. While accomplishing these goals Towner challenged his Knights to maintain at least a 3.30-3.50 GPA. Education is first, basketball is second, because if you don’t have the grades the colleges won’t take you. Towner believed in running a very disciplined program but yet making sure the Knights are having fun while doing so. Coach Towner was named Coach of the Year, back to back at Shadow Hills. In his CIF-SS Championship season he was named DEL Coach of the Year, Citrus Belt Coach of the Year, and CIF-SS 3A Coach of the Year with Dominic Escobar being named CIF-SS 3A Player of the Year and Cord Stansberry CIF-SS 3A All First Team. In coach Towner’s first two years he’s had multiple players named All DEL First and Second Team.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – Palm Desert Investigations Bureau, at 760-836-1600, or Investigator Reinbolz at 760-836-1634. If anyone with information would like to remain anonymous, please call the Coachella Valley Crimes Stoppers at (760) 341-STOP.

Image Sources

  • Ryan Towner: RSO
  • Rape Victim Illustration: Shutterstock