Coach receives show of support

first_imgBut district officials said they cannot divulge details about Ancich’s employment because personnel matters are considered confidential by state law, board President Leighton Anderson said at the meeting. “And that’s a problem because it keeps us from speaking in perfect candor on what you’d like for us to talk about,” Anderson added. “But no one has made any decision, the board has not taken any action with regard to the head football coach,” he said. “The coach is still the coach, and nothing has happened to change that.” But it did little to assuage Ancich’s supporters, who used the meeting’s public comments period to sing his praises for rallying the football program, building school spirit and student character, and emphasizing the importance of academics over athletics. Dusan Ancich is the son of legendary St. Paul High School coach Marijon Ancich, who is the state’s winningest high school football coach. He retired following the 2006 season. Dusan Ancich served as an assistant on his father’s staff at St. Paul High in Santa Fe Springs before becoming Cal High’s coach in 2004. WHITTIER – Nearly 200 students, parents and supporters of California High School football coach Dusan Ancich showed up in force at the Whittier Union High School District board meeting Tuesday, making impassioned pleas for trustees to keep Ancich on as coach for the Condors’ varsity team. Supporters say they fear he’s being squeezed out of his job for a host of reasons, ranging from allegations last fall of illegal recruiting tactics and the hiring and firing of a former assistant coach. Ancich declined to comment. The speculation was enough to prompt parents and students to hold rallies in support of Ancich over the past couple of weeks, including one Tuesday in front of Cal High after classes were dismissed. One mother spoke of how Dusan Ancich became a father figure for her two boys when her husband died last year. Marta Palos presented the board with a 900-signature petition in support of Ancich, and then told the elected panel, “This is something that will not be easily forgotten if we’re disregarded.” Graduating senior James McCrory said when Ancich first began as coach three years ago, “nobody had any school spirit.” “But now, if you go to school on Friday nights, everyone is there,” he added. “And that’s because of Coach Ancich and the things he’s done at this school.” Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson said she appreciated “the sincerity of the concerns voiced by the parents and students. This is a very trying and upsetting situation and the proliferation of rumors has heightened the emotions and misinformation.” But laws designed to protect employees prohibit the district from disclosing personnel information. “I can only relay that no action has been taken, \ the district is following procedures and practices that have well served our schools, the students and their families.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more