Bishop Amat’s Richard Wiard will remain the girls basketball coach at Amat while he serves as interim athletic director at Charter Oak


By Fred J. Robledo
Richard Wiard, the winningest high school girls basketball coach in San Gabriel Valley history, isn’t ready to give up what he’s built at Bishop Amat. Wiard, who has won four CIF championships and two state titles the past 12 years, will remain coach at Bishop Amat while he serves as interim athletic director at Charter Oak, a position he strongly considered pursuing before deciding to remain as the Lancers’ girls basketball coach.
Wiard, who took a one-year sabbatical from coaching in 2008 to pursue a second Masters degree at Azusa Pacific, is an economics teacher at Charter Oak, where his wife Kathy Wiard is the principal.
For years, Wiard has taught at Charter Oak and coached girls basketball at Bishop Amat. He’s been a high school basketball coach for nearly three decades.
Over the summer, Charter Oak vice principal and athletic director Glenn Martinez left the school to become the CIF-Southern Section assistant commissioner, leading to speculation that Wiard would become the athletic director or vice principal at Charter Oak.
Since Martinez left, Wiard has served as the interim athletic director at Charter Oak. However, Wiard said he isn’t seeking the job permanently. “This is what happens when your wife is the principal,” Wiard joked. “I’m helping out. I’m not considering it (athletic director) long term, it’s a short-term solution.”
Wiard came to this decision recently. Two months ago, he was strongly considering a move to the administrative side, whether at Charter Oak or somewhere else.
But when it came time to make the decision, his heart was with the Amat girls basketball team. “I didn’t want to give it up,” Wiard said. “I’m not that old yet. I still enjoy it.”

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  • Sharon Shay

    As complicated as it might seem, quality educators and coaches are a blessing. He has always held students to the highest level of personal responsibility, the striving for academic excellence and he will always be an asset to the San Gabriel sports programs.

  • Joe Amat

    I’m guessing that Richard will continue coaching until his youngest daughter graduates from high school. I can’t imagine he allows anyone else to coach one of his kids. He, kind of, worked his way into the boys basketball program so he could be actively involved in his son’s career.

    The question, then becomes is she going to be like every Wiard/Chavez/Salter and go to Amat? I can’t imagine they break ranks and send her to Charter Oak (it does always amaze me at the number of public HS administrators and lawmakers that send their kids to private schools. Does tell us something… I think)

    The reality is he took that sabbatical to prepare himself for a career as an administrator, so it’s just a matter of time. Now, just might not be the time.

  • Just Saying

    Sharon yes BUT. Is it really the kids he has interest in or just his own interest in his own kids.
    I find the “worked his way into the boys basketball program so he could be actively involved in his son’s career” statement by Joe Amat rather telling.

  • Perspective

    Its not always a problem for fathers to coach their sons. Some might call it your right to try, and for every bad story theres dozens of great relationships. Think Bum and Wade Phillips, Buddy and Rex Ryan, and oh, a few guys named Salter, Farrar, and John McKay. Picture this: A former player, now protg is coaching boys basketball. He helped you win a couple of state championships. This boys head coach would appreciate the help, both as your friend and as a coach. The fact that Richards son loved basketball and lived on the sidelines his whole life to play at the school should not stand in the way. Some might say they earned it. Anyone who saw those teams (while the son was there) will know that they accomplished great things without great size or superstars, and that Richard did not impose himself. They played Wiard-Amat brand basketball, based on intensity, execution, athleticism, conditioning, and heart. The younger Wiard didnt play a minute more than he deserved, and will undoubtedly become a fine coach in his own right. I think it would be great if Richard got to coach his daughter, but its clear you dont know the facts, so dont presume anything; Ill leave it at that.

    It should not amaze you that not all public school employees send their children to public schools. You have the facts reversed. Many of those parents would (and did) work for those private schools, except for the great disparity in pay, pension, and job security. Charter Oak is a great school, but ask any principals kid if they enjoyed being a student at their parents school. The fact that about 20 of her extended family members are Amat grads might be a factor in going to Amat, but if the daughter went to C.O., youd probably be critical of that too.

    The most impressive thing about Richard isnt his two Masters degrees, coaching ability, or the small pile of state championship rings. Its his character. Get to know the guy.

  • paul

    Richard congratulations AD @ Charter Oak hopefully Vice principal take both jobs. This man works hard for what he got. If I was him I would not let anybody coach my kid either. He has proven what it takes to be a good basketball coach. I know for a fact if you you are better coach than he is he will let you coach his kid. I should know Richard and Kathie thank you for letting me coach Kristina.

  • COChargerfan

    The “something” that Joe is implying is Amat’s education is better than COs. Logically, it follows that Amats educators are superior to CO’s so, if this is true, it would seem that the Wiard’s are part of the problem for CO being inferior. So Richard, with two Masters degrees is a great basketball coach but a crappy teacher…LMAO.

    Truth is that AP and IB courses are standardized on a National level and subject to outside audit so exactly how is Amat superior to CO or for that matter any other accredited school? The answer is obviousthey arent.

    The big picture for those that arent looking at this solely from the Amat perspective, due to budget cuts of teaching positions last year CO lost both the boys and girls varsity coaches. So, we have a teacher that is as Perspective points out is reaping the financial benefits of working for a public school which he wouldnt be getting at Amat who is unquestionably a fine basketball coach who packs up his gear after 5th period and heads off to another school to coach. This just isnt right. If the CO Superintendent had any balls hed insist on Richard coaching a CO team and if he refused, make it pretty much impossible for him to coach elsewhereit is pretty easy to do by making him teach a 6th period class and perhaps give him office hours afterwards.

    BTW, that mens basketball coach that Mrs. Wiard hired is just awful. So why did she allow him to come back for a second round of dysfunctional behavior towards the kids with zero understanding of what it takes to be successful at the game? I can accept that a mistake was made in hiring him but to allow him back for another year? She lost my respect and everyone elses who have any clue in the CO basketball program. Where was Mr. Martinez in the process? Missing in action tooso add him to the worthless bin.

  • Joe Amat

    COChargerfan,

    Not really implying anything, just stating an observation from several studies. It looks like 12% of parents send their kids to private school but 25% of educators do so. That number rises incrementally when you add lawmakers into the equation. I find it interesting and worth asking some of those teachers why. It’s not up to me to “imply” anything.

    Sorry about the basketball thing. I believe you were warned about that upon his hiring, and you did a great job at least giving him a chance, and not coming on here to slam him. Props to you, and maybe explains your absence for a while. Too bad. No kid needs to go through that on any team.

    For anyone else trying to read between any lines of what I wrote, Richard and all sides of his family love Bishop Amat. As any father, it is not a negative that he loves his family and offspring more. That doesn’t make him a horrible person… or a saint.

    Amat benefits by his involvement as a basketball coach. His record with the girls speaks for itself and any success the boys program has achieved the past couple of years is directly attributed to him and the players. You only need to go to a game to realize that, and if you didn’t know any better, the average spectator would probably think he was the head coach anyway.

    If you know him you know Richard is way to intelligent to be just a basketball coach. But that’s what makes him a great basketball coach. We’re happy to have him for as long as we can.

    It is my personal opinion that he will stay as our Girls Basketball Coach until his daughter graduates. At which time he will take advantage of his administrative credential. Or he may figure out a way to do both. I would not put that past him either.

  • The difference

    The difference between private and public isn’t the teachers, in fact the standards for public school teachers is higher than it is for most private schools. The difference is the environment. Ever seen “Lean on Me,” that’s a good example of what an environment does for you. At private schools, smaller classes, less goofing-off, kids with parents that pay a lot of money in tuition and are on top of them. In public, there are too many rotten apples that spoil it for others goofing off in class and class sizes are much larger. Teachers understand this, and Joe’s number would be higher if teachers were paid a better salary

  • Lance R

    Ok I am a Amat guy but I find this a conflict of interest. I do not see how you can “interim” as a A.D. while coaching someplace else. If it is a father coaching daughter situation then enroll your daughter where you work aka C.O. Then there is Mom the principal which family in’s the set up. Interim A.D. meaning temporary until basketball season is over then you can come over and be the full time A.D. at C.O. If she named Richie with the title as AD without the interim attached to it I do not think that would set well with most as well as CIF that he is CO’s AD and is Amats girls Basketball coach. I think the Wiards should do it the right way as this has nothing to do with education but it has lots to do with Richard and Kathy wanting the best of both schools as it pertains to their careers mixing in with their family. I am sure he is getting paid to do both. He is a very good BB coach but I feel the Waird’s professionalism is lacking here. Comments “I am not seeking the job permanently just helping out”…..right on Richie,,,, Until Basketball season is over then you will jump over to CO and take the job full time……….something smells fishy in all this. This is not Good For CO and it is not good for Amat. Kathy / Richie do the right thing. Teaching and coaching elsewhere is one thing. Being a AD elsewhere is different as it involves athletics. How many girls from CO will Richie recruit to go to Amat to play basketball, when he leaves Amat to take over as full time AD at CO how many Amat girls will follow him to CO?…Well when you take the AD job Richie do us all a favor and set up the football game everyone wants to see.

  • GoBigBlue

    COChargerfan, really. I think it is pretty well established that private schools provide a better education than public schools, that’s why they exist. Do you really believe people pay so their kids can get a worse education. Your principal is sending her daughter to private school, what does that tell you. Nevermind you went to public school and probably can’t understand the logic. AP and IB programs may be standadized but that represents a small part of the overall student body. Having done my research before sending my son to Amat I can tell you that the percentage of kids going to college from CO is less than 30% while it is greater than 80% at Amat. Now I understand why you think you have the best football program your all delusional.

  • COChargerfan

    Just curious GoBigBlue, where did you get the 30% and 80% numbers? Does that include JC’s or just 4 year colleges? I’d like to see you back up those numbers with empirical evidence.

    Anyway, doesn’t really matter because even if the numbers are correct, they don’t mean that the Amat education is somehow better but, instead, that more students at Amat avail themself to the higher education opportunity. Do you understand the difference? It’s an important distinction which, BTW, makes your logic incorrect.

    For your information, both my kids attended private school through the 8th grade. Plus, I have a college education as does my wife and daughter and my son just started at a top school in the University of California system. So exactly what am I missing?

    In their post, “difference” sums up the reasons why people (who can afford it) chose private over public schools.

    And Joe, I did stay away from the blog while my kid was actually playing. I’ve done my share of stupid but was smart enough to realise that nothing is gained and actually much is lost by running my mouth off while he was playing…even when the coach was a disaster from the beginning. It’s just hard to understand how Kathy Wiard and Martinez would allow him back for a sequel. Richard watched a few games last year so he also has seen this failure up close. I know times are tough and CO doesn’t have any teaching positions but there has to be someone, heck anyone else that was interested in the job. I don’t think they ever looked so that means they don’t really care…so how does one respect them?

  • GoBigBlue

    COChargerfan, you question my numbers, well let me explain where they originate. When my son was considering local high schools,having also attended private school since preschool, I made the point of calling CO, Covina and South Hills only to reaffirm what I believed. They all reported numbers ranging from 12%-18% attending four year colleges, while Amat was at 82% for that year and in the 90′s if I considered JCs. I too attended college at USC where I obtained my degree in Chemical Engineering, so now let me explain to you what empirical means. It is evidence collected through experimentation and observation, something that can be calculated like a percentage is not empirical dumbsh#t.

    And your right “the difference” does explain in his post one of the reasons and a strong one for attending private school, the environment. With private schools like Amat there is an expectation that you will attend college, it is not offered as an option for a select few. For a school to not encourage or expect that next step is the failure of our public school system. Maybe you want your child to associate with students who have no desire to attend college, I choose not to. Students at Amat don’t “avail themselves”, there is an expectation that they will attend college, do you understand the difference.

    Just so there is no misunderstanding here, I myself attended public school and I understand how a student can still obtain a good education through AP and IB courses, but the public school system is not the environment to allow those kids to flourish. What is even more puzzling is that you would go through the expense of putting your kids through private school only to go to a public high school. At some point you valued private school but then stopped. To bad you can’t be honest enough to admit you couldn’t afford it or didn’t appreciate the value, either choice doesn’t say much about your college education.

  • COChargerfan

    GoBigBlue, dumbsh#t, really? No, it is your understanding of the definition of empirical that is wrong. I guess that USC education has a few holes in it

    Ill enlighten youthe word means verifiable by data. That data can be experimentation or observation. And the data is more often than not summarized in some percentage form. The data in our little discussion is the observations of the number of graduating students going to college divided by the total graduating class…which is stated as a percentage. So my question to you was where did you get the specific numbers (data) to support the percentages?

    Now, your homework is to go look up avail and then get back to me as to how it is (not) in any way, shape or form related to the definition of expectation.

    Since you like to level personal attacks, Ill give you something on your level. You and every other fool that keeps blaming the public school system because so many students refuse to open a book are total idiots. Think about itthese public high school teachers all have college degrees and most have masters. Furthermore, most have specific degrees in the subject that they teach and, if not, have passed a certification test before they can teach that subject. BTW, standards which are higher than the teaching requirements at private schools. Do you and the rest of the fools actually believe that these teachers dont want every kid to learn and go off to college? Dont you think that it is very frustrating for them to watch kids fail? So, pull your head out of your azz and quit blaming them and start focusing on the real culpritsthe kids and their parents.

    And GoBigBlue, the CO kids that took the AP/IB courses all went off to 4 year universities including two kids to your alma mater. So that CO education worked for themand it works for every other kid that avails themselves to the opportunity.

  • GoBigBlue

    COChargerfan, really. Look I get it, you wanted to impress everybody with your use of big words. Unfortunately you don’t understand their meaning, Empirical data is data collected through observation or experience usually to support a theory, and yes you can report this data as a percentage. Adding numbers and calculating a percentage is not empirical data, read it slow so you can understand. I’ve spent plenty of time in labs and you would be laughed at thinking that the act of performing a mathematical function is empirical. I don’t observe that 1+1=2, it is fact. Get it, probably not.

    Now let’s get to avail, you idiot. When you avail you are taking advantage of a situation, profiting from it. I don’t avail to wake up in the morning, it’s an expectation. But it’s OK you obviously don’t understand the difference, that’s why you think public education is better than private. I’m really suprised you respsonded and dug yourself even deeper.

    In my day USC was a top ranked engineering school, but I notice how you don’t mention where you went. To imply my education at USC is lacking only supports what an idiot you are.

    The fact that you single out your AP and IB students is my point exactly, they are the majority of your college bound kids and represent a minority of your students. At private schools everybody is expected to be college bound, the bar is set higher.

    So somehow you think your argument supports public versus private. Sure blaim the parents. The bottom line in anything are results. and the results are private schools outperfrom public at putting kids in college. You can go on and on about how qaulified your teachers are, my son’s Chemistry teacher has her PhD in Chemistry, is that qualified enough for you. That’s why the teacher’s union doesn’t support pay an merit increases based on performance and that’s the problem, it’s not about your teacher’s qualifications it’s about the results. Private schools are focused on getting kids into college and they perform well at that while public schools continue to perform poorly at that. Now that’s the bottom line.

    Now go on and live in your simple litte world where you believe public school is better than private, I really have spent more time than I should responding to a fool.

  • Amatalum/CO Parent

    GoBigBlue, COChargerfan,

    I Graduated from Amat and had kids at CO. I do not care much about the data because kids will get out of school what they put into it.It BEGINS with parents. Having both of my kids leave a private school for public education was the right decision for me. GoBIgBlue you make it sound like its a bad thing to go to a public school.
    Both my kids were in IB classes and both were accepted to USC. My kids flourished because they were brought up right by their parents not because they go to a Private school . I dont feel i needed a private school to do my job. Oh and by the way 100% of my kids friends went to a 4 yr university (since you feel the data is important). I hope your kids grow up without your Private school elitist attitude.

  • COChargerfan

    GoBigBlueyou are truly a tool. Each time you open your mouth, YOU offer more proof of a lack of reading comprehension skillssince you went to USC, how can one not wonder about what they didnt teach you or, maybe Im misguided and the problem is that they tried but you didnt avail yourself of the opportunity to learn. And Im not trying to impress anyone, this is who I am, how I think, how I talklets see if you can keep up.

    I never said that a percentage is empirical data and, instead, such nonsense is a figment of your poor reading skills. In fact I said And the data is more often than not summarized in some percentage form. Oh yeah, it was YOU that threw out the 80/30 percentagesYOU pal, not me. I am the one that inquired as to the source of the empirical data that SUPPORTS THOSE PERCENTAGES. Learn to read.

    So exactly where did I say that I think public education is better than private? Never happened pal. It was YOU that said private is better than public based upon the (erroneous) deduction that college enrollment percentages are an indicator of the quality of the educational opportunity. Remember now?

    To digress, my nephew recently earned a biochemistry degree from UCSD brilliant kid but cant read and write to save his life. Perhaps there is a pattern here with the science grads.

    Anyhow, empirical data isnt limited to some theory basis scientific hypothesisthats your narrow-minded, science-limiting brain. I have a Business/Accounting degree and the entire financial world uses financial numbers as the empirical data to support summary findings, many of which are stated in percentage form. No theory, no hypothesis needed, just hard numerical data.

    As to your blathering about avail and expectation, your lack of understanding of the difference is really scaring me so Ill put the answer into a simple analogy. Here goes, per your statement, parents send their kids to Amat because of the expectation that they will attend college. And, you also stated that 20% of Amat grads do not attend college. Thus, 1 in 5 Amat students did not meet their parents expectation (thus, completely wasting like $25K of their parents hard earned money but thats another subject altogether) and why, well because they didnt avail (i.e. take advantage) themselves to the educational opportunity. To continue, an expectation is something that is based upon a FUTURE occurrence (i.e. a kid finishing the 4 years of high school and then enrolling in a college) while avail looks back on what has ALREADY OCCURED (i.e. the 20% of Amat grads that dont go to college)two entirely different animals. Get it now?

    Apparently you dont understand the implications of your continued insistence that the lower college bound numbers for public schools is a result of poor quality teachers and not the unmotivated students. Well, doesnt that mean that 20% of Amats teachers are failures? Does it not? Or, did these kids just fail to avail themselves to the education opportunity? Which one do you want to pick now? LMAO.

  • GoBigBlue

    Amatalum;

    you obviously did not read the chain of events, I went to public school and attended a private university, USC. I understand that you can get a good education at a public school and attend a good university, but I also understand it is a harder path. I had numerous discussions while going to USC and had a few friends that attended private school. I understood that their private school atomsphere eased their transition into college. So given the choice I wanted my kids to attend private school. I am not a private school elitist, I attended public school. But I am also not a narrow minded fool. Sure kids go to public school and attend college, but the ones that go to private school have a greater chance of making it and are better prepared. The atmosphere at private school prepares them for the discipline they nedd to succeed. There is nothing elitist about that.

  • GoBigBlue

    Here we go again, you continue to amaze me. Empirical data is collected to support a theory or hypothesis, there is no need to collect empirical data to support a fact. You obviously lack the intelligence to understand this. You asked me where I obtained my empirica data, you asked the question missaplying the term. On a rudimentary level it is easy to believe that collecting data is empirical, delve a little deeper and you might understand the true meaning.

    Defend it how you choose, your still wrong. You chose to lead the public school charge when you took offense to another post that implied private school was better and decided to use the argument that public school teachers are better qualified. That was you, but maybe you want to back away from that because on the surface you realize what a foolish position you were taking.

    And yes over 80% attend 4 year university, and the number is higher when you add JC’s it goes into the 90′s. And yes the small percentage of kids that don’t pursue higher education have wasted their parent’s money.But that doesn’t change my position at all.

  • COChargerfan

    GoBigBlue, buy a dictionary, learn to use Google or do something to expand your horizons. Emperical has many meanings and not just the narrow scientific one that you continue to insist upon as the ONLY one. I grabbed this off the Internet for you: In statistics, “empirical” quantities are those computed from observed values, as opposed to derived from theoretical considerations. In economics, “empirical” generally refers to statistical or econometric analysis of numeric data. Still not ready to admit you were wrong?
    Didnt answer the question did you? So, are 20% of Amats teachers failures? Because, as much as it suits your misplaced opinion, you cant blame the public school failures on the teachers and then out of the other side of your mouth apply a different standard upon the privates, including Amat.

    And wait a minuteyou are randomly mixing unrelated stuff together when you try to combine YOUR statement that privates offer a better education with my comments that people like you need to stop blaming teachers for the students poor performance. Heres what I said; You and every other fool that keeps blaming the public school system because so many students refuse to open a book are total idiots. Think about itthese public high school teachers all have college degrees and most have masters. Furthermore, most have specific degrees in the subject that they teach and, if not, have passed a certification test before they can teach that subject. BTW, standards which are higher than the teaching requirements at private schools. Do you and the rest of the fools actually believe that these teachers dont want every kid to learn and go off to college? Dont you think that it is very frustrating for them to watch kids fail? So, pull your head out of your azz and quit blaming them and start focusing on the real culpritsthe kids and their parents.

    So GOBigBlue, are you disputing that the public credential requirements are more strict? Great to hear about the chemistry teacher with a Phd. but do they and every other teacher at Amat hold a California Teaching Credential and have met the single subject credentialing requirements? Im betting that the answer is NO.

    With that said, I wasnt comparing the Amat vs. CO teachers and, instead, the context was that the CO teachers are highly trained professionals and they are not to blame for little Johnnys failure to go to college. So GoBigBlue, you still going to blame them for the 30% number or maybe admit that little and big Johnny should burden the lions share? Before you answer, think about Amats 20%cant wait.

  • AMAT 73

    I have to agree with AMATalum/CO Parent, success begins in the home with the parents or guardians . Yes maybe in the private schools the enviroment is more of students there to learn and eventually continue their education . But you do get some who are not in tune with that as anyone who has gone to AMAT knows every year a few facing are missing from the year before. Big drop from 1st year to second and so on . By senior year most of the shoe clerks ( just a saying ) are gone . Something that public schools do not have the option of other than sending the really bad students to continuation (maybe there’s a new term for them ) school but border line goof offs just might make it thru regular high school. I went to public school until high school and had no problem adjusting to the curricular at AMAT due to my public school education as I was well prepared because of my parents and also my teachers making sure I learned . My only take is public school education is not equal at all schools . If it was why the need for schools like the new Edgewood HS which you have apply for admitance by meeting certain standards. Why not take the everyday student ? Because they don’t want the student who is not geared for success to hold back the others who are there to take advantage of the great education they about to receive.

  • GoBigBlue

    COChargerfan, really;

    Look it’s a simple concept. Empirical does not refer to performing addition. The fact that you continue to try to support this tells me what an idiot you are. Look I understand that it is important to you to make yourself feel inteligent. It’s pretty obvious you have an inferiority complex, get over it already. I don’t think I ever seen this kind of idiocy. Gee your so smart. get over yourself already.

  • COChargerfan

    GoBigBlue…I am smart, but so are you. An exchange of comments isn’t to prove one is smarter than the other but, instead, to educate us both and maybe a few others all the way…do you agree? And Im smart enough to admit when Im wrongare you?

    I normally dont personally insult one during a discussion but you immediately went that route (and havent deviated to the endwhy?) so I responded in kind to turn the tablesdid you enjoy being insulted? I doubt it. Personal insults are the tactic of the uneducated that lacks the intelligence to formulate a valid argument. Perhaps in the future you should think about how you want to be perceived, especially when you look into the mirror.

    Your right, empirical does not mean a mathematical calculation but I NEVER said it did so why do you keep repeating this erroneous comment? What Ive said all along is that the empirical evidence is the data that was used to make the mathematical calculations, which, in this case, are your 80% and 30% figures.

    I see you are still avoiding the 20% question. While you obviously discuss it, hopefully youll at least think about it before going half-cocked leveling blame at the teachers.

  • jcaz

    If Fred were to ever come up with a top ten as far as threads go, this has to be one of them.

    Loved the sharpe exchange of ideas from both sides on this one gang !