Sources say Walker and Ayala officials had converations about the boys basketball position back in December; LA Times on boys basketball fallout: “It’s the Twilight Zone at Ayala.”

The LA Times’ Eric Sondheimer weighed in on Ayala’s decision to fire boys basketball coach Kenny Donavon, a decision that was made by first year principal Diana Yorboi, which caught athletic director Steve Martin by surprise. I have confirmed through multiple sources that Yorboi intends to hire former Charter Oak basketball coach Ray Walker, and that the two had conversations about the job as far back as December.

Sondheimer wrote: “Apparently some parents didn’t like Donovan. Is there any program with 100% parent approval? And I thought the parents in Ventura County were tough. Good luck to Ayala in its pursuit of finding a coach to work at a school where the requirement is to make sure EVERY parent adores you. And what happened to caring about the kids?”

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  • Joe Amat

    I have to throw this out there and say, if true, I’m *extremely disappointed* in Ray Walker. ANY coach, and I mean ANY coach, that entertains a serious conversation with ANY administrator or representative of another school about a job that another member of the coaching profession presently holds is engaging in what the true coaches in the profession would feel is extremely unethical behavior. PERIOD. Sickens me.

    there… I feel better.

  • AE 1178


    From what I heard third hand, he was approached by her at WC Tourney and he was pretty taken aback by what she was saying and was not exactly comfortable with her talking to him. But, she was after him and he knew he was going to not have a job a CO. Walker was not going after his job, he was being offered a job. Little bit of difference, but not a lot. She is completely wrong how she dealt with it.

  • pomona insider

    @joe amat
    I totally agree, it is wrong
    -Anthony Rice

  • sgvpride

    I was working the WC Tourney and she was already in talks with Walker. Joe amat nailed it on the head.

  • Joe Amat

    AE 1178,

    You’re right… not a lot of difference. Just because someone knows they’re going to be out of a job doesn’t make it ok to engage in the conversation – whether you searched it out or not. Might even make it worse… because now you’re putting a fellow coach into that position. Disappointed in a former Lancer coach… although not necessarily a former Lancer – there’s a difference.

    It sounds like he accepted the offer which is way different than a respected coach with an ounce of class would have done. If a coach were to say “I won’t talk about a job that one of my colleagues still has, but contact me if the job were to open up.” Wouldn’t that earn even more respect from anyone asking the question? If not – you shouldn’t want to work for them anyway.

    Like I said to start, I hope it’s not true, BUT if it is… “

  • COChargerfan

    My kid played for Coach Walker this past year and he is UNQUESTIONABLY a man of high character and principles…and anyone that says otherwise just doesn’t know him. I don’t know how this thing went down and I suspect that none of the bloggers do either but regardless if he was approached concerning interest in a teaching/coaching job that was going to be open regardless of whether he said yes or no, especially in these difficult economic times, then he or anyone else in his position would be a fool not to listen.

    Coach Walker and his staff who will undoubtedly be with him wherever he lands are hard working guys that run a clean, organized and disciplined program so any meddling parents and knucklehead kids better find another school if he indeed winds up a Ayala…because he wont take their junk and if they persist then they won’t be playing any basketball.

    A lot of angst from parents and tears from the players flowed when we found out that Coach Walker was being laid off at CO. I don’t know Coach Donovan and in no way are judging him as a person or coach but if it is true that Coach Walker is being hired than Ayala is getting a great coach and even better human being to mentor their children.

  • Anonymous

    The football coach has done more immoral and unethical things on that campus and was not discliplined for it by the administration so now we know why. It comes from the top.

  • what a disgrace!

    COChargerFan you obviously don’t know Coach Donavon. He was first rate as a teacher and as a coach. I was fortunate enough to see his teams up close and they were wonders to behold. His coaching style is dignified, as is his demeanor. His players developed nicely, worked hard and became valuable assets to the Gregory led Bulldogs. My son played against his team many times and afterwards he was as gracious a coach as I’ve ever met. If you asked him a question he took the time to listen and answer it in a manner that spoke volumes to his character and honesty. He did not need to be replaced as his record showed. He beat a Damien team that was up by 12 and lead by as much as 22 before pulling off the dogs and winning by 12. He played everyone in the SL tough and unlike some coaches never berated officials and instead concentrated his energy on his players, all of them.

    I’ve seen CO when they played against Compton Centennial and the CO team was basically a Travel Ball team with energy. I’m sorry. A bunch of free wheeling, high energy players with marginal fundamentals who shot lights out that night. They played hard and gave it all they had but skill wise they were lacking. CO depended on fearless shooting to stay with a team that had a coach who never called a time out and not once moved from his seated position.

    In fact the Gonzaga coaches in attendance that night remarked, “They never seen a coach so frozen on the bench”.

    I’ve never met Walker but from what I saw he’s in for a rude awakening once he gets to the Dad who has two coaching scalps to his credit. With Gregory and Donavon still on campus it must really make the three headed monster feel invincible.

    What a disgrace! Coach Donavon you deserved better. I know another SL school will be calling soon. Thanks for being a class act. The Ayal Principal said she was going in another direction. That would be the toilet!

  • Insider

    Coach Walker was approached by Ayala in December before he knew he was being laid off at CO. He declined the offer as he felt things at CO were going well and he expected to be there for a long time. Then about a week before CIF began Principle Wiard informed Coach Walker that his P.E. position at the school was being cut. She said he could keep the basketball job if he so desired but he respectively declined as he needed to pursue a teaching job.

  • just sayin’

    “angst from parents and tears from the players” would not accurately describe Walker’s departure from Amat or Chino Hills

  • COChargerfan

    I explicitly stated that I don’t know Coach Donovan and that my comments were not directed to him as a person or coach but, instead, that Ray Walker is a fine coach and fantastic person.

    Not sure whats a Travel Ball team with energy but your statement that they just had a lucky shooting night just shows your ignorance as to the skill level of the CO players because they are very good shooters who proved that during many games. So there wasnt any luck involved. Did Compton also get lucky when they hit threes especially the one with under a minute left and the shot clock almost gone which gave them a 4 point lead and forced CO to start fouling?

    And exactly why does Comptons coachs lack of movement have anything to do with how Walker performed? Are you saying that Donovan would have beat Compton with his Ayala players who I assume are the antithesis of a Travel Ball team with energy? Get realCompton lost in the CIF Title and State Championship games to Serra and would up ranked 13th in the entire State. That CO came within a heartbeat of beating them is a tribute to Coach Walker and not the negative that you want to paint it out to beget a clue pal.

  • COChargerfan

    Insider…the matter of Walker’s PE position being eliminated was being discussed last summer as the CO School District is mired in red ink so it was not a total surprise when the “official” notice came down. We hoped that it wouldn’t happen but it did. The girls varsity coach, who taught history, was also let go.

    And just saying…who cares about Amat and Chino Hills…do you want to start talking about how Amat has treated some of their past coaches?

  • just sayin’


    We’re talking about Walker. Walker happened to be a coach at Amat and Chino Hills. If you’re allowed to come on and give an opinion of “your boy” then so should others. The feeling about him at two of his prior schools was much different than you portray. .Both those teams got better when he left and most were glad to see him go. Maybe Bellflower was too. On his 5th school this decade. Maybe that should tell us something. Maybe you’re really just worried that your boy will have to earn his time with the new coach.

  • Joe Amat

    I just got a call from a friend and it appears that the Ayala principal has reinstated Donovan and admitted she handled it poorly. If true – is SHE getting pressure form above?

    More as I find out

  • Tom Kiss

    from the LA Times
    Boys’ basketball: Ayala reinstates Donovan as coach
    March 26, 2010| 6:25 pm
    For once, the good guys have won. Chino Hills Ayala has reinstated Kenny Donovan as its boys’ basketball coach. Parents were upset that Donovan had been dismissed after only one season as coach and after a 17-12 record.

    But on Friday, Donovan was offered his position again and accepted.

    “The principal apologized,” Donovan said. “She said she made a mistake.”

  • Tom Kiss

    from the LA Times
    Boys’ basketball: Ayala reinstates Donovan as coach
    March 26, 2010| 6:25 pm
    For once, the good guys have won. Chino Hills Ayala has reinstated Kenny Donovan as its boys’ basketball coach. Parents were upset that Donovan had been dismissed after only one season as coach and after a 17-12 record.

    But on Friday, Donovan was offered his position again and accepted.

    “The principal apologized,” Donovan said. “She said she made a mistake.”

  • Chino Hills High Fan

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • P.L.P’s

    CO Chargerfan pressure to bear bares fruit! Donavon is back !!!!

    As far as my comments about the teams I saw that night I stand by them. As you know they are my opinion and in some ways the views of those around me. Centennial could have and should have blown you guys out by 20 by halftime. They are a very athletic team with incredible speed and jumping ability. For the first 6 minutes they played explosively above the rim. However, the CC coach did nothing the whole game. Rarely made substitutions and only once had an assistant suggest anything. If you were there, and i think you mentioned before you weren’t, you would have seen what I’m talking about. Don’t make me research your comments because I will. The CC coach sat with his leg crossed and one hand on his chin the whole game, as if frozen! Considering it was the playoffs, a close game at times and they were actually behind early on thats unheard of wouldn’t you agree? As I said the Gonzaga coaches mentioned they’d never seen anything like that before when I asked if coaches froze when they new collegiate coaches were in attendance. Now I said CO played hard and were fearless shooters…where does that spell l.u.c.k.y. in your book? As far as their fundamentals how many times were the CO PGS picked at half court? The ball handling wasn’t a strong suit, and cost CO the lead before halftime and the game at the end, but shooting lights out was. Some of the shots had Gonzaga coaches shaking their heads and had CC fans mockingly covering their eyes. One CC fan even ran up and down the sidelines after a CC dunk but sat motionless on a high arching rainbow shot with a hand in his face fading away from way behind the 3 pt line! Were those shots routine for CO players I don’t know. I never said lucky I said fearless.

    COCF that’s the answer you deserve because you always extrapolate from comments made. When did I say anything about Walker vs Donavon or that the team was lucky of how a frozen coach influenced Walker or how a fearless shot is lucky. as always you’re the smartest guy in the room who gave us all a lecture on the nuances of a moving screen ad nauseum.

  • JV FAN

    I am so excited that donaovan is back because now my will play! thank you martin and sylvia orozoco!

  • COChargerfan

    I was at the game, in fact, I missed only 1 of the over 100 games that this team played from June until then.

    P.L.P., you’re a walking, talking contradiction that Im guessing doesn’t have a clue about what is really happening on the basketball court. Come on, admit that you have never played the game and other than seeing the ball go in the hoop, the rest is all one big blur.

    The fact of the matter is that Compton was getting smoked for the first 6 minutes of the game; in fact, CO had a 9-point lead early and was up by 7 with around 2 minutes left in the half. Compton then effectively trapped, slapped and reached leading to steals and two dunks plus a couple of lay ups. And they were losing because our defense, which BTW is a fundamental, was dominating their offense. Late in the game they tried the same trapping tactics but were called for several fouls as the officials tightened up the physical play which is very typical of HS refs vs. the NBA refs who call games tight early and then allow more physical play late. Anyway, the steals were a tribute to Comptons quickness and not because CO is poorly coached and their players are a bunch of undisciplined, unskilled travel players with marginal fundamentalsjust more of you living in a fog vs. the reality of what really happened on the court.

    If Compton should have blown CO out by the half than they would have done so but, instead, CO executed their offense, hit the same shots that they’ve been hitting for several years and played execellent defense.

    And why do you keep bringing up the Gonzaga “coaches”? Seems you are seeking credibility or validationwho cares what they think about the Compton coaches. BTW, I’ve watched the Zags play maybe 5 times this year on TV and I’ve never seen the two guys that were at the CO gym so I suspect that they were scouts, not coaches. BTW, did you ask these Gonzaga guys what they think about Phil Jackson just sitting with his legs crossed during times that the Lakers are playing poorly? Different coaches have different stylesare you saying the Phil is a bad coach too and that if hed just get up to yell and scream a little more than the Lakers would beat every team by 20?

    The bottom line is that you disparaged Coach Walkers coaching abilities by calling COs team derogatory things including A bunch of free wheeling, high energy players with marginal fundamentalsit is what it is so man-up and admit it.


    Please show us where what a disgrace wrote that CO had a lucky shooting night . As always your tendency to read your thoughts into someone’s post and then attack them on it comes to life again.Also how do you come up with the are you trying to say Donovan would have beaten CC with his squad based on his post.Again I have noticed since the famous get our butts kicked and go home quote of Lou you have been on hiatus. Now you come back right where you left off. Making things up to satisfy your point of view. Evidently some feel this man violated a coaches code of respect but to you he would be a fool not to listen to an offer of a coaching job still occupied by another coach and this is a man you say of high character and principles. I am sure if it had been anyone other than your nemisis Joe Amat who was the first to chime in you wouldn’t have even posted . Now back to the point where did the man write lucky shooting.


    You think Phil’s bad hip has anything to do with him not getting up so much anymore. Before the hip got to the point it is now Phil would be up shouting ,whistling , and coaching. You haven’t heard of the recent operations and the fact that the hip just might cause him to retire because of the great discomfort it causes him while flying on the road trips. It is not his style to sit there it is his pain that causes him to sit .


    COCF once again you talk out of your rear end. I actually sent both coaches notes thanking them for the nice conversation and for their insight. They were class individuals. My son will be spending his summer up at Gonzaga so maybe I’ll see them again. The remarkable silliness that passes for your credibility is remarkable. You say you seen Gonzaga play and weren’t able to see these men so they must be scouts. Explain. Better yet, don’t. I’m still trying to figure out what makes you so bull headed.

    I went online and looked both these coaches up. I won’t embarrass them by singling them out as I’m sure they don’t need to be included in yet another COCF exercise in redundancy.

    As far as marginal fundamentals I see you have a problem with the truth. A skill set is relative wouldn’t you say? What passes for fundamentals in one environment doesn’t in another. What’s that you say? You can’t comprehend that. Your brain is trying to escape thru every God given orifice. As I said what baffles one person is rudimentary to another. No statement every written on this blog has been more accurate. Watch and learn.

    Case in point:

    I went to a USC game and noticed how often Taylor Mays picked poor angles, over ran plays and seemed lost in coverage. I also noticed how he played incredibly deep and had a tendency to take off in an odd way. Define “odd”, sorry I can’t. Even I have my limitations, but I know it when I see it. This gentlemen turns to me and says, “You know he’s an All American, don’t you?” I said, “Take a look for yourself”. Then I did the “don’t be the smartest guy in the room trick” and said…”Maybe the knee injury is bothering him”.

    Now before you say, “Oh so now you know as much as an NFL scout” and go on for days…STOP! It’s just one man’s opinion.

    Well when the combines hit of course Mays is a physical freak but then the NFL comments begin from Sanders, Woodsen, and others. ‘He picks poor angles” “For being such a physical presence he’s only caused four fumbles, only has so many picks, goes for the big hit but plays out of position, gets lost in deep coverage, starts plays off lost”…tough huh? How about the dissecting of all these All Americans for poor hips, bad feet, slow to grasp drills, lack of strenght..ect ect. What passes for a A term paper at CO might not cut it at Loyola…just saying!

    Like I said. “What baffles one person is rudimentary to another”.

    I’ve seen incredible basketball players from Mater Dei, Verbum Dei, Crespi, SJB and they were incredible players who slide right into starting line ups at USC, UCLA, ND, UNLV and yes even the NBA. Seen players who would have averaged 35 if their was a three point line and still averaged 28 a season. The SGV has no one on that level, sorry. Not even close.

    Ever figure out what PPL stands for? Park League Players, one on one specialists, one on one guys, three point launchers, one handed dribblers…you get the picture.

    CO played “lights out”, shot “lights out” and defended “with incredible energy”. They have nothing to be ashamed of. CC was a terribly undisciplined team, poorly coached “that night” team and were saved by their incredible athleticism …which passes for “basketball” today.

    Weren’t you the guy who once called Raymond Lewis “infamous”? So much for appreciating basketball.

  • COChargerfan

    Whos the Moron? Just two days ago Phil Jackson issued a statement that he wasn’t having any health issues and expected to be back next year…here’s a suggestion, stay informed if you’re going to call people out. And I have never, ever heard PJ say that he doesnt call timeouts or run up and down the sideline because of a bad hipwhered you get this information? Instead, PJ constantly defends his low-key style with the answer that the guys on the court need to figure it out themselves.

    And P.A.L., Im just saying that Mark Few wasnt in the CO gym and I didnt recognize the guys but just wondering, why are these guys relevant to the Coach Walker led CO team that you called a Travel Ball team with energy. I’m sorry. A bunch of free wheeling, high energy players with marginal fundamentals who shot lights out that night.

    And when you add the that night [as opposed to all nights] to describe COs shooting ability combined with the marginal fundamentals and Centennial could have and should have blown you guys out by 20 by halftime [i.e. if CO didnt shoot lights out] comments you are saying that they got lucky against Compton as opposed to being a highly skilled team and well-coached team. You said it so own up instead of hiding like a coward.

    You should look up the word infamousit means being widely known but with a bad reputation. Ill help you outLewis had basketball skills that were unequaled but unfortunately, his biggest downfall was that he wasnt much on team rules and conduct. So exactly what does this comment have to do with not appreciating basketball?

    Pretty much all the skill players in the NBA fit your park league players description [Kobe and Lebron being the poster children] so why do you think that this is such a negative quality? You stated that the Compton kids were poorly coached and undisciplined who got by on athleticism so, in other words, with PLP skills. The contradiction is that if this is so terrible, then why was Gonzaga scouting them? If these fundamentals are so important, shouldnt they be scouting your well coached, fundamentally sound Ayala kids instead? Nopebecause they choose bad fundamental but with quickness, speed, jumping and shooting touch over the slow, vertically challenged, poor shooting kids with fantastic fundamentals. Sorry P.A.L., Ive just heard the fundamentals excuse used too many times by parents whose kid lacks athleticism yet wants to knock down a peg or two the kids that are extremely athletic.

    BTW, my niece graduates from Gonzaga in a few months so good luck to your kid as it is a great college.

    I’ve been in “read only” mode for several months and only came out because of the personal comments directed as Coach Walker and the CO kids…going back to hybernation because too many of you folks don’t get it.

  • Galactic Moron

    Galactic Moron aka COCF

    Kobe is a poster child for Park League Players? You imbecile. Kobe has the best footwork in the NBA, His work ethic is legendary, his attention to detail legendary, his fundamentals are off the freakin charts! You really showed how much you really know about the game. The way you extrapolate imaginary points and connect them to non existent arguments and defend yourself with peyote lace logic is beyond ridiculous.

  • Mark Rosen

    Coach Donavon is a good man that has good intensions, but that does not make a good basketball coach. To be successful, a coach needs his players to respect his wishes and skill sets, take direction during practices and follow the rules that he has put into place. This was not the case last year. Was coach Donavon’s firing a case of bad spoiled boys and parents running over a coach? I think not, it was about a Coach not demanding the respect required to run a quality program. It is about a coach unable to communicate with his players and teach them the right way to conduct themselves both on and off the court. This is not going to change by re-hiring him. Individuals can change, but Mr. Donavon is a nice man that avoids conflict at all cost. That is not a good trait for a coach whose job requires him to deal with conflict on a weekly basis.

    The standard for being a good coach is not just wins and losses; it is about making a team out of a group of young athletes. It is about teaching them to share the ball and play hard as a unit. This did not happen last year, nor do I believe it will happen this coming year. Ayala will probably win more games next year because its current talent pool will be more mature and the bench will be stronger. Keep in mind their schedule was very weak last year. The teams that the bulldogs defeated had a combined record of 153 wins / 197 losses. Only 3 of the 16 teams Ayala defeated during the regular season finished with a winning record and two of those teams were in Ayalas own league. Glendora and Damien, the two schools in Ayalas league, accounted for 40 of the 153 wins.

    The big question is will anything change at Ayala? My guess is no. The school administration has dropped the ball and let School Board politics determine the outcome of a program that they do little to fund. What has been created is a no win situation for everyone. The big losers here are the kids that play at Ayala. It is a common theme at a lot of High Schools these days.

  • Ponce De Le Ego

    Mark Rosen after Ayala parents got rid of Gregory for the second time all parents affiliated with the school lost all credibility. Gregory was a three year PG starter at Nebraska. Ran the John Wooden Basketball camps for years as their Director. Ran Jerry West’s Camp as it’s Director. So how stupid are Ayala parents when you have a coach with that universal cred and you have parents and players who don’t respect him, “any more” boo freakin hoo!!! He was a tremendously well respected coach and a John Wooden disciple of the highest order. Now you come on and dish on Donavon when every basketball person with credentials say he’s solid. 17 wins while grooming a Sesame Street sized PG for stardom? 17 wins and a signature 24 point comeback win against a much more talented Damien team, being a tough out in all league games but that wasn’t good enough. You say the other team’s record didn’t meet mustard but Ayala was a young team with four Sophs so 17 wins is huge! Why do you think their was such universal outrage, or are you immune to outside opinion. The facts are simply this, Daddy WarBucks worked the school and coaches until he got what he wanted, all three boys up on varsity and all three starting. Maybe all three will attend North Carolina on scholarship and help Roy Williams get back to the NCCA Tournament, that is if the Tarheel fans can wait. I just hope Roy Williams can hang on!

  • just a fan

    does anyone know if Walker was “Let Go” already? or was he just pink slipped and could possibly be back next year?

    I think it will be kind of hard to see him teaching at Ayala next year after all of this went down. Pink slips are just preliminary, May is when Walker should know if he won’t be back for sure.