Decorated coach Steve Johnson will not return as Eisenhower High School’s athletic director or boys basketball coach this coming school year, according to Rialto Unified School District director of communications Syeda Jafri.
The two-time Daily Bulletin Coach of the Year returned to his athletic director position briefly after recovering from gunshot wounds suffered Jan. 21 at an inner-city park in San Bernardino.
The 47-year-old Johnson was not asked to return as athletic director by newly appointed Eisenhower principal Scott Sparks. Johnson chose not to return as boys basketball coach for a program he turned into one of the area’s best over the last 19 years.
“Both the new Rialto and Eisenhower principals opened the athletic directors’ positions up going toward a different direction,” Jafri said. “Mr. Johnson chose not to return to coach basketball for next school year. The district has not opened the position yet.”
A day after publicly announcing his resignation as football coach at Eisenhower, Vinny Fazio accepted the head coaching position at Murrieta Valley on Friday.
In his second season as a head coach, Fazio won’t be called to engineer a turnaround the likes of which he achieved his lone season at Eisenhower. Murrieta Valley finished second in the powerful Southwestern League and lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to eventual CIF champion Corona Centennial.
“Professionally, this is the best day of my life,” Fazio said. “I’ve found the place where I want to be for the rest of my career.”
If Fazio had it his way, he would have never left Eisenhower. But The school whose football program hadn’t had a winning season since 2002, issued Fazio a pink slip in March.
When the final vote came in last night, Miller and Eisenhower didn’t have to worry about being ousted from the Citrus Belt League in favor of Carter and Citrus Valley. Now they’re all in the same league.
The Citrus Belt League became an eight-team league Monday evening in a vote that adopted the 19th of 35 proposals for the Citrus Belt area. The changes will take effect in the fall of 2014. Instead of half the Citrus Belt League making the playoffs, only three of the eight teams will receive automatic postseason berths.
Several coaches were understandably not particularly happy with this. To read their reactions, check out Staff Writer Pete Marshall’s story from the releaguing meeting last night. To see the new leagues, click on the thread below.
There were plenty of variations in the 35 releaguing proposals for the Citrus Belt area to be decided between today, some of which had longtime members Miller and Eisenhower exiting the Citrus Belt League. A meeting at Arroyo Valley today, which will assuredly be lengthy, will emerge with the releaguing moves that will take effect in the fall of 2014.
Some of the exciting possibilities? Citrus Valley, which has dominated the Mountain Valley League, was a popular pick to enter the Citrus Belt League. Carter, which has won the San Andreas League in football the last two years, was also granted entrance into the CBL in several proposals.
Staff Writer Pete Marshall reviewed all 35 of the releaguing proposals submitted to the committee. Check out the story he wrote about them.
UPDATE: Eisenhower basketball coach and athletic director Steve Johnson is likely facing more surgeries after being shot multiple times Jan. 21 at at Seccombe Park in San Bernardino. The shooting caused damage to Johnson’s stomach and intestines in addition to breaking bones in his arm, according to this report.
The two-time Daily Bulletin Coach of the Year was able to drive himself to a police station despite the gunshot wounds and was later transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment. Here is the complete story of the events that began at 8 p.m. Monday night.