San Gabriel High School principal Jim Schofield confirmed Monday that varsity girls basketball coach Manny Flores, junior varsity girls basketball coach Mark Ho and freshman girls basketball coach Jannie Han were fired early last month after Han allegedly suited up and played in a JV game.
Schofield would not discuss the details, citing privacy issues. Han is a 2007 Alhambra High graduate who is attending Cal Poly Pomona.
“One of the things that high schools struggle with is ethics and integrity and making sure the kids follow academic honesty,” Schofield said. “If something like that was to happen in a program it would be sending out the exact opposite message; that we don’t have to work ethically or show integrity in what we do.”
According to multiple sources at San Gabriel High School, Han played during a nonleague JV road game Dec. 9 against El Monte and attempts to cover it up led to the firings.
Han did not respond to repeated e-mail requests seeking explanation, nor was she available for questions at her home in Alhambra.
Flores, who along with Ho coached two and a half seasons at San Gabriel, did not return repeated messages left on his cell phone.
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As recently as Dec. 18, San Gabriel canceled a junior varsity contest against South Pasadena because of a “lack of coaches,” according to South Pasadena athletic director Ralph Punaro.
Schofield said concerns about the girls basketball program were brought to his attention through e-mail messages sent the weekend of Dec. 12. He fired the staff on Dec. 15th and the interim staff — made up of coaches at the school who volunteered — was implemented Dec. 18.
San Gabriel football coach Keith Jones volunteered to head the varsity position on an interim basis following the firing of Flores, but has since been replaced by the recently-hired Jennifer White, a walk-on coach who also is the softball coach at Keppel.
Jones and assistant football coach Jude Oliva will coach the junior varsity. Chris Kwan, the freshman boys basketball coach and varsity boys volleyball coach, has volunteered to coach the freshman girls while the new freshman coach awaits finger print clearance.
Schofield said all will coach on an interim basis.
“We made a change in the program that we feel is going to take it into a more positive direction,” Schofield said. “Any of the athletic programs need to be positive experiences for the kids and we really felt the girls basketball program has gotten to a point where it’s not a positive experience and the program hasn’t been building.”
Schofield said several issues were of concerns to him, particularly the final scores of the two previous games before the El Monte game; the Matadors’ varsity team (0-8) lost to Gabrielino, 63-7, and Burbank, 65-2.
“I was concerned with the number of upperclassmen who left the program and the fact we had so many freshman playing at the varsity level,” Schofield said. “We lost one game to Burbank where we scored two points and another where we scored seven. There were some red flags there.”