Panther Tracks

After assault charge, ex-Panther Frank Garcia loses WFNZ job, talks about what’s next

Former Carolina Panther Frank Garcia hosts a drive time radio show in Charlotte.
Former Carolina Panther Frank Garcia hosts a drive time radio show in Charlotte.

Sports-talk radio host Frank Garcia isn’t returning to Charlotte’s WFNZ-AM. He was fired after his arrest for misdemeanor assault on a 29-year-old woman last month, two sources close to the situation confirmed.

Garcia, 46, was formerly host of the afternoon talk show, “Garcia and Bailey,” which he co-hosted with Kyle Bailey.

“We’ve been in contact and they let me know what was taking place,” Garcia said of his firing in an interview with the Observer Friday night. “Right now, it’s an opportunity to spend time and grow with my family and just find some balance in my life.”

Garcia was arrested Dec. 8 in a south Charlotte neighborhood for simple assault of a female. The police report showed that he was not related to the victim. The woman suffered minor injuries, according to the report, and refused medical treatment. Garcia was booked into the Mecklenburg County jail and later released.

Garcia, who said he has a court appearance next month, said he’s uncertain about his next steps professionally. Garcia has been involved in local radio for 14 years, starting shortly after his NFL playing career ended. He was selected by Carolina in the 1995 NFL draft. Garcia, who played with the Panthers from 1995-2000, also played with the Rams (2001-02) and the Cardinals (2003).

Garcia said he was taking life “day by day” and focusing on his family.

Garcia has not been on the radio since the incident, though his voice had been heard during some pre-recorded commercials.

Garcia was also suspended as an assistant football coach at Charlotte Catholic High School. He was not on the sideline for the Cougars’ state championship win over Jacksonville Dec. 15, one week after his arrest.

Charlotte Catholic athletics director Kevin Christmas said Garcia is still suspended and expects his status will be addressed after the coaching staff meets with principal Kurt Telford later this month.

Garcia said he hadn’t asked Catholic officials about his status, but said he wants to continue coaching.

He said he plans to remain in Charlotte and strive to be the best person he can be.