One of the nation’s most decorated high school sports dynasties may be in ruin following the dismissal of the program’s entire coaching staff.
As reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Archbisop McCarthy baseball program dismissed longtime head coach Rich Bielski and Alex Fernandez, the director of operations for the baseball program, who together piloted the program to six state titles in seven seasons. The most recent, the 2017 Class 6A state title won in May, led Archbishop McCarthy to the number two ranking in the final USA TODAY Super 25 ranking.
Fernandez did not mince words in his criticism of school officials:
“They don’t want to deal with what winning brings,” Fernandez told the Sun-Sentinel. “Winning causes trouble, parent [complaints]. They don’t want to handle it.”
“I kind of knew it was coming, because we got no support from the school. … We built something so special. It hurts the kids. It’ll be like a YMCA or intramural program now.”
The dismissal of the Mavericks program leaders came after an official probe found the team had used three ineligible players during the 2017 season. The team was forced to forfeit all 22 of its regular season games but retained the state title because it was won without any of the ineligible players competing in a single postseason game.
That does little to help the program now, with the Mavericks suddenly facing a very uncertain future.
Fernandez, who was a pitcher on the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins team, told the Sun-Sentinel that he and Bielski are scrambling to keep together the coaching staff that delivered such an impressive run at Archbishop McCarthy and help them land somewhere else.
As for the Mavericks, with the entire coaching staff gone, questions will shift to who can lead that program on. It won’t be anyone with immediate experience leading some facet of the team; they’re all gone.