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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, October 18, 2002

Moanalua parents petition to fire coach

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

Dissatisfied with responses from their school administration, more than half the parents of Moanalua High varsity football players said they will send a petition to the central district office to have head coach Jose Guevara removed.

Parents allege verbal abuse by the coach and his assistants, unfair treatment between "star" players and others when dealing with disciplinary affairs and no action taken when some players have allegedly threatened others on the team.

"There were some things that happened earlier in the season and we didn't know (about) until recently as a couple weeks ago," Guevara said. "No one ever came up to me directly, anytime. Not even to this day.

"My take on it is that our players go home, talk about how practice went to their parents and what happens during practice. Everything gets blown out of proportion and taken out of context. We're here having to defend ourselves when we're basically kept in the dark about their concerns."

The parents, who held a meeting while waiting for their sons and daughters to finish football practice, said they did speak to Guevara with their concerns. They added that they have witnessed some of the allegations while attending practices.

Athletic Director Dana Dias said the concerns are being addressed.

"We're doing it with the support of the staff, as well as the administration," Dias said. "But like every other program, at the end of the season we evaluate the total program."

Parents said problems in the football program have been ongoing. In 2000, four players were dismissed from the team for allegedly taking part in an "extortion" scheme where they stole JV players' equipment, knowing they would be "fined" by the coaches for "misplacing" their items. The "fine" system was stopped, as it is against Department of Education policy.

Parents earlier signed a petition to the school administration airing their concerns. About 30 parents who signed that petition were given a form letter signed by principal Darrel Galera and athletic director Dias explaining that at the end of the season the school does a "comprehensive evaluation of the program." The letter added that the conclusion of the evaluation will be made available to those parents.

Parents who did not sign the petition did not receive the letter, Dias confirmed.

Also, two assistants have been relegated to coaching from the press box. Guevara confirmed that one of them had his game duties changed because of a verbal confrontation with spectators during one of the games.

Guevara, in his eighth season as head coach, is an alumnus of Moanalua. Coaches are hired on an annual basis and he said he would like to return next season.

"There are parents for us and parents against us," he said. "This is a big mess right now."