Los Altos High School fired head varsity football coach Jim Arellanes on Tuesday after just one season at the school.
Arellanes was hired last March to replace Felipe Aguilar, who resigned after two seasons. The Conquerors went 0-10 this past season and Arellanes was relieved of his duties after several meetings with school officials due to the program’s lack of direction based upon clear expectations, according to a statement put out by principal Cheli McReynolds.
“Obviously, I am very disappointed and disagree 100 percent with the decision,” Arellanes said Tuesday night. “This decision was coming from the same people who asked me three different times to apply for this job last year after I turned it down two previous times.
“It was unfortunate because we felt we had made very good strides over the last month and half, since we started our offseason program.”
Arellanes’ firing combined with the recent resignation of Wilson coach Brian Zavala leaves the Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District with openings at its two most-storied football schools.
Arellanes, who graduated from El Rancho and played quarterback at Fresno St. before three seasons with the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe, was previously the head coach at Northview where he went 21-22 in four seasons.
“Our focus was not wins or losses, but a passionate ownership of the entire program, a strong commitment of time to our students and the building of relationships with all players, staff, coaches, parents and the community,” McReynolds said in her statement.
Los Altos has fallen on hard times following the resignation of former coach Greg Gano in 2007. Gano won four CIF championships in 10 years at the school. Prior to that, Dwayne Despain won seven CIF titles in 33 years.
Los Altos hasn’t had a winning season since going 8-5 in 2006. Arellanes will keep his teaching job through the remainder of the school year.
Full statement from Los Altos principal Cheli McReynolds: As of today, Jim Arellanes has been removed as head coach of the Los Altos HS football program. This decision was made after several meetings focused on the current state of the program and the lack of direction based upon clear expectations. Our focus was not wins or losses, but a passionate ownership of the entire program, a strong commitment of time to our students and the building of relationships with all players, staff, coaches, parents and the community. We would like to thank Jim Arellanes for his efforts but we strongly believe this is in the best interest of our program. We will begin the search for the next head coach of Los Altos High School immediately.
Statement from Los Altos AD Steve Garcia: It definitely was not based on wins and losses. If it was wins and losses, you would have probably seen on Nov. 11 we would have had a coaching change. Jim went through the yearly evaluation process and had multiple discussions and the steps to get things to where we want them to be and where these kids, I won’t say should be, but where we want them to be, that process wasn’t where we were going. More than anything else, it’s a difference in philosophies in where we needed to be and how we needed to get there.
Aram’s take: Score another for my sources, but I still just don’t get it. More on that later …