A sudden and surprising coaching change at a Bay Area high school appears to have been the result of a well-orchestrated coup from an even more surprising group: The wealthy parents of the team’s student athletes.
As reported by the San Jose Mercury News, Los Gatos (Calif.) moved on from Ricardo Garcia, with the school folding ranks around its popular team.
In Garcia’s case, the decision to end his tenure as coach prematurely came as quite the surprise. His replacement by Greg Verela, the Gilroy coach who has sparked that team’s renaissance, comes with a sense of relief for some and sadness for others. And, in some cases, deep disappointment that Los Gatos decided to move against a popular coach.
“I am here to respectfully ask the board to investigate the process in which our well-loved and respected coach has been removed,” wrestling parent Denise Borgia told the Mercury News. “How did our athletic director and a few wealthy families buy this preferred coach? I have nothing against the Gilroy coach. I have the utmost respect for his skills and ability.
“But that is not the issue tonight and not what we’re discussing. We’re discussing what happened to our coach and why there is not an investigation to understand how that process occurred.”
It’s actually quiet clear what happened. The new Los Gatos athletic director has a background at Gilroy. Verela expressed an intrerest in the Los Gatos job, and the school promptly found a way to oust Garcia, despite his past as an athletic director and a non-nonsense approach.
As for the wealthy families references by Borgia, one particular parent has Verela as a club coach and praised the coach’s appointment at the same school board meeting where Borgia spoke against it.
And while Verela was only confirmed as the school’s new wrestling coach on Tuesday, that was keeping the school from promoting a summer wrestling camp using the new coach’s marketing blitz.
“I take great pride in working with average wrestlers who train hard on a regular basis,” Verela wrote on a flyer that is being circulated for the Bay Area Dragons summer wrestling camp. “These are the wrestlers who have anchored my most successful teams. Summer sessions (are) where those average wrestlers work on the details of their technique and perfect their craft. It is this time of year when athletes make their biggest gains.”