Cheerleading coach who forced splits previously fired for same training technique

Warning: This video contains images which may disturb some people.

A Denver cheerleading coach who was caught on video allegedly forcing a young girl into the splits, as she screamed and pleaded for him to stop, was previously fired for the same training technique.

Video shows 13-year-old Ally Wakefield screaming in agony as her teammates and coach push her into the splits, leaving her with torn muscle tissue and ligaments.

The coach, identified as Ozell Williams, has been fired from the East High School after the "extraordinarily distressing" video emerged, Denver Public Schools superintendent Tom Boasber said in a statement.

But it's since emerged that Mr Williams had been fired last year from a different school, after using the same training technique on students at Boulder High School.

He also allegedly told students he would "punch [them] in the face" if they failed in an activity, according to NBC-affiliate KUSA.

Six of the 24 cheerleaders on the East High School squad have since quit, Ally's mother told local media.

Mr Boasber said the training went "way beyond" athletes and coaches pushing themselves to reach their full potential.

"Under no circumstances should a young person be in a situation where they are suffering physical or emotional harm," he said.

"Under no circumstances should a young person be forced to continue any activity beyond the point they have expressed the desire to stop."

A police investigation into the matter has now been launched.