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Inside Sports: Students, Parents March To Support Terminated Coach

Uploaded 02/28/2014

Students, Parents March To Support Terminated Coach

Video: Nick Culotta and Jesse Merrick, Story: Dave Caldwell

Saugus High School boys basketball head coach Derek Ballard has been fired by Saugus principal Bill Bolde.
Ballard was called into a meeting with Bolde Thursday at 12:30 pm and told the program needed to go into a different direction. He remains as a social studies teacher.
The Saugus Centurions went 0-10 in the Foothill League this season, 10-19 overall.
“He said he didn’t know what we were doing,” Ballard said, referring to Bolde. ”He said the guys should have been better free throw shooters and he did not agree with the zone defense we were using.”
Ballard went on to say that he was told there were “a couple of disgruntled parents who complained.”
“He never warned me, never brought me in to talk to me about his concerns,” Ballard said.
In a written statement, Bill Bolde said:
“I recognize the great passion with which Coach Derek Ballard has approached his role as the leader of the Saugus basketball program and I appreciate the way he has given so much of his time and energy to the young men placed in his care.
“I have taken time over the past several weeks to evaluate the program and to consider whether changes needed to be made. After careful consideration, the decision was made that Saugus basketball needed a change in leadership. This decision was not made as a result of this year’s results, nor was it on wins and losses. As this is a personnel issue, I am unable to divulge the internal aspects of a decision like this.”
“District policy is not to discuss personnel matters with anyone,” said Gail Pinsker, Community Liaison Officer with the Wm. S. Hart Union School District. ”There are privacy issues involved. ”
Ballard called a meeting with players and parents currently part of Saugus Centurions basketball on Thursday night.
“They were very upset,” Ballard said. ”At the meeting the parents and players said Bolde never contacted them.”
Many of the freshman players at Saugus are considered some of the best in the Santa Clarita Valley. Four freshman started on the Centurions JV, which finished 6-4 in league. The freshman team, without those four players, finished 7-3.
“I’ve worked hard to get Saugus to respectability and we were about to get there,” Ballard said. ”Whoever comes in after will be considered the savior and me the chump.”
Approximately 30 Saugus players, parents and students turned up at the high school’s administrative offices early Friday morning in a show of support for Ballard. They didn’t think it was right for him to be fired.
“I’m here to support Coach Ballard because I love him,” said junior Caleb Grisanti, a starter on varsity this season. ”Like Alex said he’s like a father to us. He kept us together and is a great coach.”
“He’s had a major impact (on our lives). He’s like a father to us,” said freshman, Alex Ceccacci. ”We are a huge family. We can’t be splitting up. I feel like I’m losing a dad. He’s the best coach I’ve had.”
That show of support means a lot to Ballard.
“They believe in me and I believe in them,” Ballard said. ”The whirlwind of support from players to business leaders… It’s good to be loved.”

55 Comments for Inside Sports: Students, Parents March To Support Terminated Coach
  1. I have Ballard as my social studies teacher and he has changed my junior year completely. Just by sitting in his classroom I have experienced his great leadership skills and ability to connect with students. I have seen his passion for basketball even being in his academic class.

  2. Jim Urbanovich says:

    Bolde is equally pathetic. Talk about losers firing losers. Google me. I will tell you the whole story. Sick and pathetic. Saugus High needs some accountability.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that why your kid went to WR and never played? They didn’t want him either. Quit being a disgruntled parent and move on with your life. And quit wearing your kids WR jersey to the gym. Its pathetic!!

    • Howie D says:

      Is that why your kid went to WR to play but never played. They didn’t want him either. Quit being a disgruntled parent and move on with your life. And stop wearing your kids WR jersey to the gym, its pathetic!

  3. Julia Young Julia Young says:

    Y’all can’t read apparently. He is not being fired for his record AT ALL. It’s a reason the principal can’t discuss….. Hello! That means he did something horrible. The players are not the problem. And neither is the principle.

  4. Mary Perdew Mary Perdew says:

    It’s not about winning!! You all should check out how the Georgia state football coach coaches and take notes from him! It’s not about winning it’s about character!! Any coach that has kids playing their hearts out and still dedicated deserve their position!!! To fire someone off of a loosing record is bull!!

  5. Mary Perdew Mary Perdew says:

    It’s not about winning!! You all should check out how the Georgia state football coach coaches and take notes from him! It’s not about winning it’s about character!! Any coach that has kids playing their hearts out and still dedicated deserve their position!!! To fire someone off of a loosing record is bull!!

  6. Mary Perdew Mary Perdew says:

    It’s not about winning!! You all should check out how the Georgia state football coach coaches and take notes from him! It’s not about winning it’s about character!! Any coach that has kids playing their hearts out and still dedicated deserve their position!!! To fire someone off of a loosing record is bull!!

  7. Mary Perdew Mary Perdew says:

    It’s not about winning!! You all should check out how the Georgia state football coach coaches and take notes from him! It’s not about winning it’s about character!! Any coach that has kids playing their hearts out and still dedicated deserve their position!!! To fire someone off of a loosing record is bull!!

  8. Mary Perdew Mary Perdew says:

    Goes to show Saugus high school administration lacks character 100%

  9. Mary Perdew Mary Perdew says:

    Goes to show Saugus high school administration lacks character 100%

  10. Mary Perdew Mary Perdew says:

    Goes to show Saugus high school administration lacks character 100%

  11. Mary Perdew Mary Perdew says:

    Goes to show Saugus high school administration lacks character 100%

  12. Other coaches beware

  13. Other coaches beware

  14. Other coaches beware

  15. Other coaches beware

  16. Jessica says:

    Ballard was a great coach and doesn’t deserve this.

  17. You should watch what you say about the players. They played their hearts out in every game. They stuck together through a difficult season and never gave up. They had major illnesses and a top player quit in the middle of the season (who now regrets it). My son was on that team. Don’t speak unless you know.

  18. You can’t have coach with a record of 0-10 and expect to have that job at the end of the season.Its unfortunate for him and all the players but its reality.

  19. Not his fault his players suck at basketball

  20. Koren Young Koren Young says:

    Michelle and Julie: I’ve met this man and have seen his coaching first hand. He’s a bigot with a temper, a bad combination. And you’re right, it’s not his fault if the players don’t play their best. But they did; he just didn’t play his best players. And it had nothing to so with the horrendous win/loss ratio. It’s a personnel issue. Maybe something going on that you don’t know… Think about that.

  21. how awkward is it that he still has to remain as Bolde’s history teacher? Poor Ballard

  22. Ballard was hands down one of the best teachers I had at that school and he always talked about coaching in class he was very dedicated to Saugus basketball and is a great teacher soo for his to be fired as coach is unfair you can’t except every for everyone to be a good player was there motivation and inspiration not there talent try should reevaluate some of there other athletic programs because Ballard is a really great teacher and always motivates his students and I really respect him as an instructor

  23. Madi Graham Madi Graham says:

    Well if they’re firing Ballard as the basketball coach, maybe they should reevaluate some of their other athletic programs coordinators as well. Hmmm. Bs politics

  24. I’m with Michelle Provost Sierks. Watch yourself Koren, you’re on her list now!!

  25. Jim Oge Jr Jim Oge Jr says:

    Off note I run into coach Clark he was there when I was there. 88

  26. Sarah Gibbs Sarah Gibbs says:

    Jeez they fire him but they let Clark stay and be an ahole and terrorize students until he retired! Some justice…

  27. Sandra Caipo Sandra Caipo says:

    My heart breaks for him. Hopefully he will get another chance to coach!

  28. Hey koren, obviously you have no clue who he is!! I’d say “jerk of a man” is the category YOU would fall under for such a shallow comment! MAYBE YOUR MOM SHOULD BE FIRED FOR RAISING YOU TO SAY SUCH B.S.!!!
    It’s a shame that they don’t get rid of the coaches with moral issues… as they should’ve Coach Hoff!!! It’s not the coaches fault if the students on the team don’t do their best! Sorry to hear the news Ballard!!

  29. He screwed over the Saugus Baseball Team many yrs ago when he was the Athletic Director!!!

  30. Koren Young Koren Young says:

    Ballard was a lousy coach and a jerk of a man. A group of 30 current players, coaches and students won’t change the years of complaints against this guy. Good riddance!

  31. I babysat for Ballard and his kids for years, had him as my teacher, and truly respect him as a person and as an educator. Something isn’t right here. So sad.

  32. He lead a team 0 and 10!
    and was just fired as a coach he still teaches!
    I don’t blame them!

  33. i want to know why was he fired

  34. They sound kinda like congress disregarding what they ppl say.

  35. Sean King Sean King says:

    Lame. Baldy needs to go.

  36. Jim Oge Jr Jim Oge Jr says:

    Vote vote vote is all I can say let’s start changing things. Come on use your voice post on Facebook only we can make changes.

  37. Jim Oge Jr Jim Oge Jr says:

    Someone should take over as super attendant they have 6 vice principles, talk about wasting money being back the teachers and cut all the wasted admin. What a joke. The district should be embarrassed.

  38. What did he do to get fired? There’s gotta be something.

  39. Brian Berry Brian Berry says:

    Bolde as the principal just makes me laugh.

  40. Julie Rogers Julie Rogers says:

    What did he do to be let go???

  41. Maybe there is a reason

  42. I’d like to delete that message and rephrase. The biggest news is that Bolde is principal! Wtf?

  43. Derek is a good guy. Someone should fire Bolde!!!!!

  44. Maybe the administration should listen to the players /parents .

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