Paul Alioto announced his resignation as Palma High basketball coach Monday, adding his name to a growing list of area coaches who have decided to step down for one reason or another in recent weeks.
Alioto completed his 10th season at Palma in March and leaves just 10 wins shy of 200 career victories.
In an email addressed to media outlets in Monterey County Alioto said he decided to leave Palma to tend to a “growing family and new job that are demanding more of my time.”
Alioto, 43 and married, is the father of a six- and three-year old. He recently went into sales, a position he said will keep him in the area but on the road and out of the gym.
Alioto joins North Salinas High football coach Steve Zenk, Alisal High football coach Cory Costanza, Hollister High boys basketball coach Dave Kaplansky and Hartnell College baseball coach Rich Givens who have resigned their head coaching positions in the past three weeks. Seaside basketball coach Kelvin Garnett stepped down a few weeks ago after 17 years with the understanding his brother will take over. Garnett had a career record of 281-60.
Alioto leaves with an overall record of 190-81. His teams won five league titles, one Central Coast Sectin crown and 20 or more games in a season four times.
He took over one of the strongest programs in the county in 2004 that was coming off one of its weakest years. The Chieftains went 7-17 in 2003-04, but in Alioto’s second year Palma was up and running again. With the help of transfer Orlando Johnson, Palma went 22-6 in 2005-06. The next year, Johnson’s senior season, Palma went 23-2 in the regular season, beat Menlo for the CCS D-IV championship, won its Northern California playoff opener before dropping a 58-53 decision at home to St. Mary’s of Berkeley to finish 27-3 overall.
In the nine years Palma reached the CCS playoffs under Alioto it reached the CCS finals three times — losing in 2010 and 2008 — and advanced to the semifinals six times.
Palma went 16-10 this past season but stayed in contention for a league title until the final game despite not having any player average in double figures. Alioto was The Salinas Californian’s Coach of the Year for 2013-14.
“I will always hold a special place in my heart for Palma basketball and to the players that made it a joy to coach every day for the last 10 years,” Alioto said in his email.