Alhambra fires coaching staff

By Keith Lair
Alhambra High School fired its entire football coaching staff late Tuesday over the issue of nutritional supplements.
“We are in the process of a coaching change,” athletic director Jerry DeSantis said.
Chuck Leonardis, who was named the head coach last December, said on Wednesday that his staff had provided seven players, who had asked about products, with supplements, including extremely low dosages of the naturally produced chemical Creatine.
“We were very up front and did not recommend it,” Leonardis said. “We had the kids talk to the parents. It’s a legal over-the-counter supplement and we checked and we did not break any school rules.”
Leonardis and one parent who has a player on the team confirmed that one of the the players did not tell his parents and when those parents found out, they approached administrators. Leonardis said he had a meeting with principal Duane Russell, who took over the position this week, and DeSantis after Tuesday’s practice. That’s when the entire staff was fired.
Russell has not yet returned phone calls.
DeSantis said a new coach will be decided “as soon as possible.”
The Moors are scheduled to open the season Aug. 30 against visiting Arcadia

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  • Concerned citizen

    So the coaching staff (adults) provided seven players (minors) supplements without contacting their parents directly about what they were providing to these minors? Did the coaching staff meet with the parents to talk about this supplement and its affects on the students? The school did the right thing in firing these adults for making an extremely stupid decision in providing minors with a supplement that could potentially harm them. This may have been an over the counter supplement, but the parents SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED THE MINUTE THAT THIS SUPPLEMENT CAME UP IN THE CONVERSATION, NOT SENDING THE STUDENTS WITH THE MESSAGE. As for the coach specifically, no justification for not meeting directly to discuss this with the parents, its extremely poor decision making on his part. Good luck in trying to find another coaching position because it appears your error in judgement not only could have cause serious harm to the minors you were entrusted to oversee, but your coaching career may have just ended. Good job to protect the students first and immediately dismiss the coaching staff!

  • Perla Santana

    At this point the students/players don’t feel protected, they feel betrayed and somewhat lost. Very unfair situation to put them in.

    • Rene77

      Very unfair to the kids your right, but this program will not go anywhere in the near future. I feel real bad for the students who will be playing there for the next few years. Transfer your kid out if you want exposure if he is good enough for the next level. Alhambra is not the place to be.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Any one of those kids can still go to a store and buy this supplement themselves, firing the entire coaching staff was a move that they could come to regret in many ways. Way to go principal for hurting the kids over one dumb parents illogical and uneducated ‘concern’……

    • no-step

      This is a harsh lesson for the coaches, but necessary. A slippery slope…providing such things to students. Whether the kids can buy them for themselves or not, and no matter how innocent and harmless it may have appeared, this was a step over the line.

      • A Rational Citizen

        They did not “provide” these “things” – they offered the parents the opportunity to purchase them at a reduced cost. And we must have a balanced approach — while this might be a “slippery slope,” so is making decisions to terminate without first looking at the FULL picture and having a holistic approach to assessing their intentions, their character and their integrity. These coaches did far more good for the AHS football program, the parents and most importantly, the boys than they are given credit for.

        • apachejoe

          AHSAlum youŕe an embarrassment to the Apaches. Chuck is an amazing young man and these athletes will MISS OUT. He was one of the hardest working athletes I have ever seen and is an outstanding role model for those athletes.

          • AHSAlum

            not everything is about ARCADIA apachejoe. AHS = ALHAMBRA HIGH SCHOOL also. go play softball with your fat daughter at the other AHS

  • Jamila Daggett

    As a parent of one of the boys who is loosing out on an AMAZING COACHING Staff, I have to say that I am truly disappointed and brokenhearted over this NEW principals very quick decision. 99% of the parents want these coaches to stay.

    • Rene77

      Sorry but if you are broken hearted you should try to transfer your kid if he is a good player. Exposing your kid to a better program than Alhambra is something you should think about. Alhambra will be on a down slope and will have trouble in there league… Mark keeper might take you out this year.

  • AHS Alum

    Bottom line is no High School coach should be providing any type of supplement to its players. Most coaches I know won’t even recommend supplements. Next time hire qualified coaches that make mature decisions.

    • another alum

      These are highly qualified coaches. The supplements were not “provided” to the players. They were not handed out or encouraged. Get your facts straight – this is not against any policy or law anyway.

      • AHS Alum

        This is from the CIF Blue Book. An athletic director, sports coach, school official or employee or booster club/support group member may provide only non-muscle building nutritional supplements to a student-athlete at any time for the purpose of providing additional calories and electrolytes.

        Get your facts straight, you are just as clueless as the staff. This was a clear violation of CIF policy/law.

        • Moors fan 2009

          creatine is NOT banned by CIF, just discouraged.

      • Concerned…

        They were sold to the players.

  • Ahs player

    None of you him guys no the whole story, so before make stupid assuptions, know what is really going on, and none of these supplements are illegal, they can be store bought. Every kids parents was informed about the supplement but this one kid he went behind there backs and got it him self. The dad if this kid even made a threat to the coach, the principle was informed but didn’t take action but yet the only action he took was firing these wonderful coaches, ridiculous !

    • ahs alumni 02

      ahs player you need to get the facts straight also try spell check

  • FB Fan

    These kids are going to miss out on playing for an amazing person and coach In Chuck Leonardis. This is an extremely unfortunate situation.

  • Concerned Parent

    Great Coach or not the Coach should of known better not to give or sell any legal or illegal supplements to Minors,there is a policy that Coaches can’t even give an Advil to Minors with out an administration consent.The Principal is just doing his job and more Parents should get involved in there Kids school activities then talk all this negativity.Good Luck Coach get them next year,I hope you learn from this and use better judgement next time.

  • New York

    Isn’t Gatorade a nutritional supplement? I’m sure they have jugs of it on the sideline.

    Has Arcadia hired him to be the new head coach yet?

    • Concerned…

      Gatorade is not banned by CIF or NCAA. It’s on the approved list.

      • New York

        Well that is pertinent information! The author of this article never mentioned a CIF ban.
        I suppose they could dig into and see whether or not these supplements had high enough doses of creatine to be considered as a performance enhancing supplement. Red meat has lots of creatine. If these coaches were feeding the kids steaks after practice, would that be banned?

  • Concerned…

    Creatine is banned by CIF and NCAA. No research has been done on the effects of creatine on teens. College football coaches are not allowed to provide these supplements to their football players. So let me get this straight…parents are willing to take the risk of allowing their kids to consume banned products that could possibly hurt their them?! Wow! It sounds like the school cares more about the kids than their own parents. Nice to know that schools are taking a stand.

    • FBFan

      Creatine is not banned by neither CIF nor NCAA. You can check on their banned substances list. College coaches can provide these substances to players at a reduced cost, I know from experience. And creatine is a naturally produced chemical in the body used to help muscles repair faster giving you the ability to work out more. There is nothing about creatine that creates unnatural or advantageous physical abilities which is why it is not banned. You should do your homework before making assumptions about where it is banned and what it does to the body. Looks like the schools should’ve taken a stand and kept you in school a littler longer.

      • SoCal Coach

        CIF Bylaw 22.B.12

        NCAA Bylaw 16.5.2-(G)

        Check your facts.

  • I think this job can bring the effect that we can not think, let’s wait and see because it’s a job that I noticed.

  • class of 91

    I was asked to gain weight when I played but all I was provided with was Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Not supplements. Also sounds coaches had a little side business action going selling supplements to there player! Nice! SMH. Man Reudaflores only use to sell shoes to his players but also to all the district. Maybe they should of offered there safe and sane supplements to the whole district! LOL!

  • Andy Herrera

    How ironic!! Recently appointed HS principal fires entire football staff. “Man who lives in glass house, should not cast stones.” He has his share of “skeletons-in-the-closet” when he was a football coach! Rather hypocritical!!

  • Alhambra fires coaching staff! good .

  • Dr. Leo Marvin

    And yet California schools can provide abortion services without parental consent. Incredible….our world is completely upside down….

    Cal. Health & Safety Code Sec 123450 states that, “An
    unemancipated minor may obtain an abortion without the consent of a
    parent or guardian”

    Cal. Educ. Code Section 46010.1, states
    that, “The governing board of each school district shall, each academic
    year, notify pupils in grades 7 to 12, and the parents or guardians of
    all pupils enrolled in the district, that school authorities may excuse
    any pupil from school for the purpose of obtaining confidential medical
    services without the consent of the pupil’s parent or guardian.”

    66 Ops.Atty.Gen. 244 (7-28-83) states that, “Public school officials
    have the authority to excuse a pupil from regularly scheduled classes to
    obtain medical services for which they may legally consent, including
    abortion, without notification to a parent of guardian.

    In the case of American Academy of Pediatrics v. Lungren,
    the supporting case law, states that the state “authorize(s) minors to
    consent to what are considered to be particularly sensitive medical
    services. (See Fam. Code, §§ 6920-6929).” And that, “A minor of any age
    may consent to care related to the prevention or treatment of pregnancy.
    (Fam. Code, § 6925.)”

  • change always good!