Diamond Ranch girls basketball coach Mike James asked to resign, a stunning decision for one of the most respected coaches around

UPDATE: Diamond Ranch vice principal and athletic director Candace Cayer contacted me via email with this response on James’ explanation that he was asked to resign: “As you know, I am unable to comment on a personnel matter. At this time, we are going in a different direction.” In addition, Cayer wrote they have not named a new coach and will fly the position in house. In other words, they’re hiring an on campus coach.

By Fred J. Robledo
One of the areas most highly regarded coaches, Diamond Ranch High School’s Mike James, said school officials gave him the option of resigning or being released in favoring of hiring an on-campus coach.
James, who teaches at nearby Walnut High School and who has led the Panthers to four CIF-Southern Section semifinals and three league titles during his six-year tenure, opted to resign this week.
Phones messages left for Diamond Ranch athletic director and vice principal Candace Cayer seeking an explanation were not returned.
“What it boils down to is that they want an on campus coach,” James said. “I’m really disappointed because I thought next year would be a really good year for us.
“We had all of our leaders coming back. It’s a strong group of kids … glue kids who work hard and do all the right things.”
James was not completely stunned by the decision. He says there is a teacher on campus who wants the job, but didn’t feel it was his position to mention his/her name.
He understands that in an ideal scenario, schools prefer an on campus coach, but he felt his resume and reputation as a coach should have allowed him to continue.
“I think they had the best of both worlds,” James said. “Obviously, you want to have someone that’s on campus, but if you don’t the next best thing is to have a credential teacher who is passionate and dedicated to the kids. I thought I was that.”
Bishop Amat girls basketball coach Richard Wiard is in a similar situation. Wiard is a teacher at Charter Oak High school, but has been a walk-on head coach at Bishop Amat for more than a decade, where he has won five CIF-Southern Section titles and two state titles.
Wiard has grown fond of James over the years, and was disappointed to learn what happened.
“You don’t find somebody better than Mike,” Wiard said. “You want what’s best for your kids, and I can’t believe they’ll find someone better. He’s dedicated to his kids, he’s been successful, and nobody’s ever had a bad word to say about him.
“I’ve done this a long time and what you want for your kids is the best possible coach and Mike James is the best coach for those kids.
“But who knows, maybe they have John Wooden on campus, I don’t know. But whoever it is, they’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill.”
James said he will not rush into another coaching position, but looks forward to the day he’s in charge again.
“I would be open to coaching next year, but I’m not going to just take any job,” James said. “I want to go somewhere where’s there’s a chance to build something to be successful.”
TO CONTINUE READING WITH MY THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS, CLICK THREAD

ROBLEDO’S OPINION: If there is a high school athletic director looking for a girls basketball coach who has taken his team to the semifinals four straight years during a six-year tenure, which also included a quarterfinal appearance and three league titles, former Diamond Ranch girls basketball coach Mike James is your man.
In one of the most shocking, head-shaking administrative decisions I can remember, James said he was asked to resign his post as the Panthers’ girls basketball coach because school officials want to promote on on-campus coach. James, who is a teacher at Walnut High School, is not only one of the most respected basketball minds in the area, he’s one of the classiest, courteous, approachable and fair-minded individuals I’ve ever dealt with. He’s everything you want your high school coach to be, from his understanding and teaching of the game to being a role model and leader of young people, he checks off all the boxes a parent or administrator could want, yet he’s being asked to resign? It makes no sense. This is like asking Bishop Amat coach Richard Wiard, a walk on coach who teaches at Charter Oak, to resign to hire a teacher on campus? Think Amat would ever do that? Would anyone do that? Well, Diamond Ranch has and I just don’t get it. Sure, it’s nice to have an on-campus coach, but when you’ve got a tenured teacher the quality of James in control, you don’t let those kind get away. But what I do know is that people like Mike James won’t be on the open market very long. Diamond Ranch’s loss will be another team’s gain. You can take that to the bank.

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  • http://twitter.com/aramtolegian Aram Tolegian

    First the Gorball fiasco at Arroyo, which was thankfully reversed and now this!

    Absolutely ridiculous and another sign of why/how MOST admin types just don’t get it when it comes to athletics.

    You won’t find a more classy guy than Coach James. Great coach, too. Winning coach, on top of all that.

    The parents, former players and students at D-Ranch hopefully will stand up the same way the parents, students and former players at Arroyo did to get Gorball back on.

    • LANCER81

      Interesting comment from Coach Wiard and Coach James. Does everybody really think that the DRHS Administration “asked “Coach James” to step down for the sole reason of promoting an on campus coach? Winning is important, but something called “negligent retention” is more important.

      Tenured teachers like Wiard and James know that the DRHS Administration can’t comment on personnel matters, if they did, Wiard and James would have their CTA union rep on speed dial.

      Where there is smoke, there is fire… Mike, step up to the plate, sign a waiver, and let Robledo, the SGV Tribune, and the DRHS parents access your personnel file and let DRHS administrators comment freely about the string of complaints and fires that they have had to put out over the past five years.

      What happened to the coaching job at Trabucco Canyon HS that you were bragging about??????

      • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

        String of complaints and fires the school has to put out? I’m someone who gets tipped off about anything and everything from angry and disgruntled parents over the years that try to get coaches fired. You know how many negative emails I’ve had about James over the years? Zero. What I’m getting now are parent emails upset with the school’s decision.

        There is nothing to stop the DRHS administrators from commenting freely over this, James is not a teacher at Diamond Ranch, he’s a walk on coach.

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  • fb102

    Perhaps Amat BOYS basketball will hire coach Mike James. The boys basketball program at Amat is terrible, with NO signs of getting better.

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  • diamondranchparent

    I just found this website and I am very sad that affairs that should be private are wide open here. I would like to balance this story out and stop the hysteria about what should have been a non-event.

    I would like to thank the Pomona Unified administrators and staff at Diamond Ranch High for having the courage to stand up for the teenage girls and do the right thing!

    Coach James was not “asked” to resign because the administration wants to promote a teacher to be the girls varsity basketball coach. This is not the proper forum to air dirty laundry, but there are many valid reasons why coach James is no longer employed at Diamond Ranch. Every program has controversies, apparently Mike James either chose not to share those with you, and rather throw the school administrators “under the bus”.

    Mike James was the head varsity coach and therefore and employee of the Pomona School District. I’m sure that you have read the other portions of the SGV Tribune where the public entities will tell you that an employee is no longer employed and that they cannot comment further “because this is a personnel matter”. The school administrators can’t tell you why he is gone, only Mike James can.

    While it is true that coach James had a winning record, there are many other factors that come into play to be a great coach, you did a good job of listing many of them in your article.

    Fred, I don’t know if you have a daughter, but I do… one who played for Coach James. I have stood on the other side of that glass window of our gym watching and listening to Coach James during practice. I have watched him coach over a hundred games, Spring, Summer, and Fall… I have heard my daughter and her teammates talk after games and practices. I have talked to all of the members of the coaching staff. Most importantly I have listened to the parents of the players from the stands and the team functions.

    Fred, I have seen you at a handful of games over the past four years. I have never seen you at one of the practices or during the off season. If you had been around more you probably wouldn’t have such glowing remarks. You would have had the “inside” track about what was going on.

    If you truly get tipped off about “anything and everything” you would have broke this story long ago… What is “Stunning” to you is old news for most of us. There are more than a handful of angry parents of current and past players who don’t even know who you are. If you have the “inside track” like you claim, why don’t you reveal Mike James’ replacement before the school announces it…

    How sad that you and others paint the school administrators as buffoons. You are parroting Mike James’ version of what happened. Do you really think that Diamond Ranch would part ways with Mike James, just to give a teacher a promotion? Follow the advice of the Bishop Amat commenter, follow the smoke… Or you can believe your version of this story that there were no problems and all of a sudden there is a “stunning” development….

    The administrators at Diamond Ranch are competent tenured professionals in their field. They are doing the right thing and won’t tell them how to do their job, they obviously know what they are doing. THANK YOU! (PUSD and Diamond Ranch administrators) for looking out for the best interests of all of our Diamond Ranch daughters, present and future.

    Coach James, I wish you well in your future endeavors. I hope that learning life lessons is a two way street for you. The girls have learned a lot about life, how to stand up for themselves, keep their self esteem up, and persevere through adversity. Please reflect about what your team and their families were expressing before this situation spread to a public forum, before you were given the opportunity to “resign”. There is no doubt that my daughter learned a lot about basketball from you over the years, hopefully you can learn from the eyes of our bright young daughters…..

    Fred, I was going to ask you to be fair and do some balanced reporting, perhaps gather facts from both sides of the story…. It just dawned on me, I have never been a newspaper hack… you are doing a great job, sensationalizing stories, selling papers (or in this modern era amassing website hits)

    A GRATEFUL DIAMOND RANCH PARENT

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      To your last part, gathering facts would require the administration, at the very least, returning a phone call, even if it’s to say James was let go to move in a different direction. They haven’t done so.

      Let’s look at facts, whatever claims you’ve made or personal feelings you have, James is still employed as a teacher in the Walnut Unified School district, a position he would not have if there was anything remotely alarming about his personal record.

      I’ve dealt with these situations for years, and most coaches, especially those who coach a long time, always have parents that don’t see eye to eye, that don’t like how practices are run, who may not like how their coach speaks to players, language used, and of course, decisions coaches make about playing time.

      The coaching fraternity is a close one, and I’m comfortable saying that Mike James has the respect of area coaches, and anyone that I’ve spoke with personally. And in my personal dealings with him, he’s a class act who has gone above and beyond to promote his players with this newspaper, whether it’s arguing for an all-league spot or a comment in the paper. He’s not a teacher at Diamond Ranch, but constantly updates me about other sports going on at Diamond Ranch, a team player all the way around.

      Again, Diamond Ranch CAN choose to comment, but they have chose not too thus far. Whenever something like this happens, a handful of schools will offer an explanation, and a handful will simply choose not to comment. It’s their choice.

      So what are we left with, your personal opinion and mine. Again, other than what you wrote, I’ve never heard one bad word said about the man over the years, and in fact, I’ve got four emails from supportive parents on the team upset with the school’s decision.

      So, obviously, not everyone feels the way you do, and you can count me as one of them.

      I’ve learned over the years that every school, sport and program usually has a disgruntled parent or two, so it’s going to take more than your anonymous observation to convince me that Mike James is anything but a class act.

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      Also last thing, I do know the coach on campus expected to replace James, someone who has coached before, but it’s been a while. But again, this is something I need to confirm with the school before I post it. And that would require a returned phone call.

    • OuttaYourMindTrib

      “…competent tenured professionals in their field…” The ONLY people that use this language are teachers and administrators.

      I about fell out of my chair when I read that.

    • trueDRparent

      My goal in responding is so everyone will know that the comments of “diamondranchparent” are NOT the views of the majority of players and families involved in the DRHS girls basketball program. “involved” means families that are truly present and not watching through “the glass window of the gym.” The players are devastated and hurt; this was by no means a courageous decision.

      Players transfer in from other schools just for the opportunity to play for Mike James. I don’t know the parents that “diamondranchparent” is listening to in the stands. Allow me to provide some facts from the inside: 1) Mike actually coaches – he teaches the game of basketball in addition to conditioning and drills; 2) Mike gives endless hours to the program – he is a constant presence for both the Varsity and JV teams; 3) Mike uses his personal funds to pay for summer leagues and tournaments to allow the players an opportunity to play; 4) Mike attends all extra-curricular events for the team; 5) The team consistently earns a CIF academic award for high team GPA

      Diamondranchparent is obviously not aware of the mob of parents that the principal said contacted her to show support for Mike James.

      Thank you, Fred, for recognizing Mike and the disservice done to the girls at DRHS.

      • gettsmow

        “trueDRparent” you do not speak for the majority and certainly not for me and my family and trust that I was right there at every game cheering on my daughter and your daughters!

        If Mike really cares, he needs to walk away and allow this program to move forward.

        • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

          Isn’t that what Mike did, resign and walk away? He’s not asking for his job back.

          • gettsmow

            Thank goodness he is finally gone!

          • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

            Spoke just like an anonymous parent

          • Another DR Parent

            How did you get the story, If not from Mike?

  • DRGeez

    Let’s get one thing straight, Mike James might have been respected but for what? Understanding the game…..Being able to talk Girls Basketball till the cows come home. Speaking to current and former athletes talk about him is another story and not just because he might have been tuff but for not inspiring the girls (Yes, not inspiring), for not being able to retain talent, and for not coaching. Yes, he took the girls to a few winning seasons but come now…This is the Hacienda league….

    Your sadly mistaken if you think parents, students (current or former) are going to “Stand-Up” and insist to reinstate him.

  • LAC32

    As a parent of a DR player who is directly involved with this program, I want to provide another perspective. It’s a testament to the character of the families in this program that negative opinions have not been blatantly displayed to the general public through the media to individuals like Fred, who can and do provide a vehicle to highlight our daughters’ talents, or with coaching colleagues in the area.

    The Bishop Amat coach mentioned, “…nobody’s ever had a bad word to say about him”, but it has more to do with the fact that bashing to non-factors like a competing coach, or a journalist, would be completely unproductive and just label us as one of those “disgruntled parents”. And as concerned and supportive parents, we realize this type of negativity doesn’t benefit the ones who would be truly the most impacted, OUR GIRLS!

    At the end of the day, let’s choose to focus on what matters most, the health and well-being of these young women, who are extremely high academic achievers and gifted athletes. It is their hard work and efforts that attributed to the success of this program, first and foremost.

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      What Wiard means when he says nobody has ever had a bad word about him is a reflection of how Mike carries himself among his peers. Coaches have to earn respect amongst each other, and the general feeling I’ve always had is Mike James is respected among his peers as much as anyone.

      Again, his teams have won, his players are academically sound, and he has a great reputation among his peers. And plus it seems there are far more players and families supporting him than the couple of naysayers in here.

      Again, just my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

    I always find these comments interesting, especially when you allegedly have parents talking about how practices are run. It reminds me of Hoosiers when coach Dale reminded parents that practices are closed to the public. And they should be. Why should parents be at practice anyway? Are they there to grade the coach? It’s ridiculous. Coaches coach, parents parent, that’s how it should be.
    Parents should let coaches do their job, whether they agree or disagree with philosophies or style. Parents should be in the stands cheering on their kids and leave the coaching to the coaches.

    • 626

      I think there are two parts to that Fred:

      1. Parents should be allowed to observe practice…for a couple of reasons. At the absolute worst end of the spectrum you have the Mike Rice types of the coaching world. I know this may represent only 1% of the coaches in the world, but nonetheless the possibility is still there, and if a coach is putting his/her hands on a player, parents should be front and center. Another thing is that parents want to observe practice to see what type of program a coach is really running. You and Aram have often talked about an athlete’s and parent’s right to choose a program when it comes to transferring and/or keeping a kid at a particular school. In order to make the best choices, parents should be able to watch practices in order to compare and contrast. In addition, parents are allowed to observe teachers in the classroom, so they should also be able to observe coaches on the field/court.

      2. Parents should ONLY observe practice. Bottom line. If a parent is observing a teacher in the classroom, they have to sit down, close their mouth and observe. That is all. They aren’t allowed to yell at the teacher, bad mouth the teacher, or point out the incompetencies of the teacher during the class. Same for the parent watching the practice. They need to simply observe, and if things get out of hand (a la Mike Rice at Rutgers), then that parent has every right in the world to complain. If the parent simply does not like the way a coach runs a program, then that parent should either shut-up or consider transferring their kid to another school.

      So I agree, parents should let coaches coach, however I also believe that parents should be able to observe practices as well.

      • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

        Observe is the right choice of words. I do believe coaches have the right to close practice, not to administrators, and not all of them, but the right to close the majority. You’re right, parents should have the right to OBSERVE. Maybe one practice a week, maybe three or four times a month you open practice to parents. But not every practice. Parents aren’t allowed in the classroom every day are they?

        • 626

          Yes, observation is what should be taking place…nothing more and nothing less. And yes, I was only talking about a few times per month, because….well…aren’t most parents at work at that time anyway!? Parents at practice everyday is definitely a problem.

          And the only sports that can truly “close practice” are gym-related sports. Closing practice for outside sports in high school is virtually impossible due to the facilities.

  • FormerPlayer

    So far, several parents and observers have commented how they feel about Coach James’ decision to resign. However, all of these opinions are secondhand observations. I, on the other hand, am a former player of Mike James.

    I understand that Coach James has the respect of his fellow coaches and newspaper friends, but that respect is not reciprocated from many of the players. Although it is true that it is very common to have players and parents disagree with the coaching style one may have, there is no excuse to have players constantly attacked with harsh and unnecessary comments and actions. As a player, there were several times that I wanted to quit playing the game that I love because of the horrible environment that I was forced to deal with during what felt like every practice/game played at Diamond Ranch under his coaching. A comment was made earlier that a majority of the players are “devastated and hurt” by his resignation, however, I know for a fact that the girls that actually played important roles on any of James’ previous teams are far from disappointed by his decision to resign. (In fact, some are disappointed that it took so long for him to make this decision).

    Also, has anyone stopped to realize that it is the players that make a team successful? The hard work and dedication that the players constantly put into their game every year is what has given these teams their much earned success. Because I am a former player of Mike James I understand that he did insert a great deal of his time into this program and I thank him for that. But let’s not start praising him (as this article and several comments seem to be doing) because truthfully speaking, Mike James is just someone who has been blessed with some tremendously talented players in the past, which made him appear to be a better coach than he actually is.

    One more thing, please stop trying to throw the DRHS administration under the bus. It seems that some personal opinions of Mike James are stopping everyone from realizing that the administration has the players’ best interests in mind with every decision they make. Of course, there are going to be people out there that do not understand why Mike James needed to go, but either way, what’s happened has happened and all we can do now is wish the future Diamond Ranch girls’ basketball program success.

    • http://twitter.com/aramtolegian Aram Tolegian

      So the DR admin let all this abuse go on for how long? If it was SOOOO BAD how come it was allowed to continue for so long?

      Your point about players making the teams great is shortsighted. When a coach wins for as long as Coach James has, then it says something about his abilities. Remember, he didn’t coach the same girls for his entire time at DR. You know, they graduate, a new class comes in, rinse, repeat. All the while, they won.

      What you’re not mentioning here is that crazy parents oftentimes get their way and get coaches run off because some admin types don’t have the backbone to stand up for someone … and start worrying about their own backs first.

      • bballjunkie4

        Aram, from Fred’s article, it doesn’t sound like this is a situation about crazy parents going to admin. And
        have you considered these are young girls that aren’t gonna necessarily
        run to administration. Abuse can happen for years without anyone
        knowing about it, so give a player willing to speak up some respect!

        • http://twitter.com/aramtolegian Aram Tolegian

          Without a name attached, I have no proof that this is really a former player. And anyway, the allegations/complaints have been very vague. From standing outside a glass window at practice to “abuse”. Haven’t heard anything to earth shattering yet.

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      Again, I don’t know if this is a former player, but to say there is no excuse to have players constantly attacked with harsh and
      unnecessary comments and actions is vague, to say the least.

      I wasn’t there so I don’t know. I don’t know what you consider harsh or what’s unnecessary. I can tell you through observations over the years basketball coaches are vocal. I’ve seen them get in players faces and say some crazy things to the referee’s. I’m seen them go off in huddles, and these are some of the most respected and longest tenured coaches around. And these are game situations I speak of, I can only imagine what practice’s are like. I don’t speak for all coaches, some are obviously less vocal than others, some use harsher language. It doesn’t make them bad teachers, bad coaches or bad people. Teaching comes in a variety of ways, and like Aram suggested, I haven’t heard anything remotely close to what I would consider verbal “abuse” of a player. If James crossed that line at anytime during his tenure and it was brought to the school’s attention as some suggest, then shame on Diamond Ranch for not doing anything about it. But I don’t believe that’s the case.

      My email is always available if there is anything substantial I’m missing.

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      Have another question for former player. At least three to four students transferred during Mike’s tenure to play for Mike at Diamond Ranch, knowing full well who the coach was, some who enrolled from out of the area as freshman, and some who transferred after. Parents do their homework. If he was so abusive and not liked, how does this happen? If he was so abusive, wouldn’t most quit the team or leave as we see happen at so many other schools when there are problem with coach/player relationships? The more I think about what you wrote, the more I’m convinced you’re a SINGLE player with an agenda. Everything you write doesn’t pass the common sense test. Again, six years, three league titles, four CIF semifinal appearances, a quarterfinal appearance and student/athletes, by everyone’s admission here, that are in great academic standing. I think you need to read Stevie Rs comment below, because that’s a man I’d love to play for.

      • Another DR Parent

        Wow! your opinion is so bios and attacking! Players transfer to different schools because they want to win and play with good players! They look at what schools have the best players in their area and go there to win. They hear stories of Mike James, but they feel they can handle it because they’ve dealt with difficult coaches in the pass and just don’t know how bad he is! And you can’t just leave a school without moving or sitting out, so your forced to stay. You keep naming the accomplishments of the team in the past few years and will not acknowledge that he had some really good players in those years that went to DR to play with each other and you want people to believe it was because they wanted to play for Mike! Wow, your unbelievable! Or you just don’t know how “high school sports” works! You really don’t know who your defending!

  • bballjunkie4

    Just like Mike Brown was shown the door… see ya Mike James, your services are no longer needed!!!!

    Fred you are such a friend… so be on the lookout for a coaching job in Mission Viejo for Mike because its a wrap in Pomona.

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  • bballjunkie4

    Aram, from Fred’s article, it doesn’t sound like this is a situation about crazy parents going to admin.

    And
    have you considered these are young girls that aren’t gonna necessarily
    run to administration. Abuse can happen for years without anyone
    knowing about it, so give a player willing to speak up some respect!!!

  • Steve Ramirez

    I’ve never amazed by the narrow-sighted view of high school parents and this is a perfect example. They only see the imperfections of their current situation, not looking beyond. I’m reminded by the letter I received some years back and again this year from Eric Wattree Sr. In it, he wanted to apologize for his actions back in the early 1990s when upset at Northview coach Ron Rice and transferring his son from Northview to Freemont HS in Los Angeles. Wattree Sr. though back then that it was wrong for Ron Rice to put pressure on Eric to dis-regard his fever due to a cold and get out of bed and practice prior to a playoff game. Senior was livid and took his son out of Northview. Years later, Eric Jr. told his father that the lessons he learned from Rice, of being part of a team and pushing yourself beyond what you thought was attainable, even when sick, helped in as special forces officer. That’s the view that parents sometimes forget. Yes, it’s hard now, but as some once said, it’s the hard that makes it great. The rewards from being pushed, come later. I’m sure its the same with coach James, who always gets the best out of his players as his record states while also earning respect from the SoCal basketball community. Yes, you need good athletes to succeed, no matter the sport, but you also have to have guidance and scheme, and that’s the role of the great coaches like James and Wiard.

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      Great example Stevie …

  • disqus_wv7yhOXlsN

    Pretty Crazy how parents whine about the how Coaches’ Coach! It’s also a trip because if they heard the kind of obscenities that occur at the Collegiate level, they would understand. Nick Saban is a machine in that field, barely if at all smiles and is the KING of the Potty Mouth Syndrome. I say if Mike James wins GAMES, and get kids into College…..he stays! Athletics is a business at the High School and even bigger business at the Collegiate level. As long as James wasnt caliing the girls “B-words” or attacking their character based on Race, Sexual preference, Religion or the other qualifying factors, STOP WHINING and let the man get your kids into College!! Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, John Gruden, Nick Saban are not the saints that you deem them as!

  • Drplayer

    As a formal player of mike James I can say that he is a good guy however he isn’t a good coach. All of you who are commenting and have never been an actual player of the team won’t know what the players have been through. Mike James has been lucky to have girls who have a god given talent. These girls are experienced and have learned there skills through travel ball. These girls don’t transfer to play for mike James they transfer to play with the girls! All the girls have so much talent and could further it however mike James is not the guy for that job! As far as the administration at diamond ranch they do not have the best interest in the girls. They’re are various coaches at diamond ranch that should not be coaching an all parents complain but especially Candace cater doesn’t care! Candace has let this go on for sooooo long!! Shame on her!
    Mile James is a nice guy and does attend the girl events however he is not a good coach! He’s never once had to say a good thing to a player and has never once inspire girls! He’s brought out team down ! And made our girls feel inferior! Sorry to the patent who said that mike James is a good coach because he isn’t and obviously haven’t paid full attention! All our girls have potential to go to D1 schools however mike James hasn’t pushed them or taught them anything!

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      Don’t take this personal, but you’re last statement suggesting that
      all of Diamond Ranch players has D-1 potential it a total fantasy and
      nowhere near reality. Chelsea Barnes (Loyola Marymount) and Erika
      Williams (Cal State Bakersfield) were by far his best two players and
      D-1 material, and the Panthers did quite well when those girls were
      there. If not for injuries, they could have done much better. I thought
      last year’s team with Williams and Barnes did great reaching the
      semifinals and losing to a talented Alemany. You should credit the coach and players for
      getting that far. Even so, the core with those two went to four
      straight final four’s
      The only legitimate D-1 player in the
      entire Hacienda League last year was probably Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley,
      and she’s a junior. In fact, I was surprised Diamond Ranch advanced as
      far as they did this past season in their first year without Williams
      and Barnes, advancing to the quarterfinals. It was amazing they went
      21-8 with only one player averaging double figures, that’s coaching. But we’ll see, with James out of the way and so many D-1 players returning as you suggest, anything short of a CIF title next season is a disappointment.

  • Drplayer

    I’m sorry Fred but I think you a biased! A good coach develops their players and their skills! We had the potential for d1 players! We had players who walked onto d2 schools who rarely played a minute during their time at diamond ranch! We also had someone walk onto a d1 school who quit her senior year because she never played! Please explain that! All the girls have POTENTIAL to play for d1 but they aren’t given that opportunity! We need a coach who develops the girls skills.

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  • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

    When reading the comments about Mike, in order to be fair, comments from gettsmow, FormerPlayer and LAC32 all came from the same IP address. Would never “out” anonymous commenters by name or email, but when at least three anonymous commenters have the same IP address and all three are hammering the coach, you have to wonder what the agenda is.

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      Also, BBalljunkie also comes from same IP address as getsmow, Formerplayer and LAC32. How interesting is that?

  • Amazed

    Two statements made by the DRHS AD on a regular basis to anyone willing to listen are what great friends she is with Mike James even before he became the DRHS coach; that they talk on a daily basis and that she is at the school from 6am to 10pm every day. If just one of the negative statements in these comments are true she should resign (BTW – they’re not true). Mike inspired and supported players willing to listen and apply themselves.
    Look at the needless mess that has been created. Who is going to heal this team?

  • Dadger

    I have been a lifetime resident of the San Gabriel Valley, had a family member in the inaugural class at Diamond Ranch, and I am still active in the Phillips Ranch / Diamond Bar community. I have also been a subscriber to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune for several decades, until now, prior to that I grew up with the family subscription to the Pasadena Star News.

    I have been following your article regarding Diamond Ranch Girls Basketball with interest because my family and good friends personally know families who have been associated with the program for the past ten years.

    I find it disturbing that you use your position as a journalist to attack certain individuals and institutions. Yes, freedom of press is a basic right but I draw the line when you and your cohorts start a witch hunt and attack brave girsl who stand up for what is right. I expect more from what I thought was a professional and respected institution like the SGV Tribune. As of late, your writings compare to rags such as the NY Post and National Enquirer.

    You masquerade as a journalist, but you don’t even try to respect the other professionals who every day report the story, the whole story, a balanced and unbiased representation of events. Has anybody noticed that you have drastically changed the narrative of the Mike James story. The version that is online now has a very different tone than the first sensationalistic story that you posted. The one where you attacked the school administrators.

    You haven’t let readers know that you have modified your story, a responsible journalist would have left the original posted and modified it with an “update”.

    You have wholeheartedly taken the side of one party, Mike James and launched an attack on the school administrators. You and your cohorts then verbally attack anybody who doesn’t agree with you. You then violate the most sacred rule of journalists by attacking your sources and make a chilling statement that infers that you can identify your sources by their IP address.

    You boast that you know “anything and everything” and you solicit emails from your readers. As others have stated, this is a non-event that was blown out of proportion by you and your cohorts. What research did you do? Which group of “disgruntled” parents contacted you and what “mob” of parents went to the principal?

    The daughters / student-athletes at Diamond Ranch are a testament to the first class parents who did a great job. You are fishing for information that shouldn’t be public, you are stirring the pot to dig up information, but an overwhelming majority of the Diamond Ranch community is not biting at your bait.

    My god-daughter has lived through a full course of the rigorous DRHS academic and girls basketball experience. Academics were great, and basketball had its ups and downs. Yes, she was a part of winning teams, but there are a lot of winning coaches out there that have other issues of concern. If you have been around the DRHS community over the past few years you would have seen a definite difference in coaching demeanor between the former girls coach and the boys basketball coach. What a class act that boys basketball coach is.

    The former coach told you his side of the story, you sensationalized and irresponsibly published your story (which you later modified) without adhering to contemporary journalistic ethics. You seem to have a very personal stake in defending one coach. As I perused through other stories on you website you have no problem reporting a neutral story or one where you actually attack other coaches.
    As a longtime member of the DRHS community I still enjoy participating in DRHS events. I’m not going to throw you a bone about why this decision was made. It is an appropriate decision and one that should not be tried in the court of public opinion.

    This missive is long, I’ve said my piece. I hope that you and your cohorts can carry the burden on your conscious of attacking young women who have stood up for their rights. I marvel at the fact that the young women, past and present, from the DRHS Basketball program are young adults and behave at such. You your friend Aram and some of the others, well it’s like you never left high school.

    I’m sure that you will try and concoct some sort of IP address conspiracy, this is being sent through a public wi-fi location because of statements made by you. You and your friends may attack me, you may delete my comment, or say I am a duplicate author.

    Stop the unprofessional madness, take the former coach out of the spotlight, and quit attacking school administrators for doing their job.

    Delete this, don’t publish this, but be assured that if you want to track me I am the one who sent a letter of complaint to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune to complain about your violation of journalistic ethics. Search the SGV files, I just cancelled my subscription. I am not going to respond to you as I am also not going to support you by reading the garbage that you publish and allow to be published.

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      Name one institution or one person that I attacked? The subject, in this case, is being attacked by anonymous commenters. After reading what some of them wrote, I’m responded with my opinion, which is what a blog is for, your opinion. The story that is published in the newspaper, is the story that leads this thread, which is not opinion.

      I find it offensive that you would say I attacked Diamond Ranch or any of its players. Give me one example? Am I not entitled to disagree with the school’s decision? Am I not entitled to ask why this has happened to a coach, to my knowledge, is greatly respected by his peers? And please, give me once example of how I or any of my colleagues conducted a witch hunt to attack a person or school. You may not like my opinion, or the opinions expressed by other writers, but to carelessly label it as an attack on someone is outrageous.

  • reality

    Fred, to make the veiled threat that you can out someone whose posts you take issue with sets a dangerous precedent.

    • http://twitter.com/SGVNSports Fred J. Robledo

      No, if you read what I wrote, I said I would NEVER do that.

  • reality

    I know you said “never” that is why I termed it a veiled threat. To suggest you could out someone if you wanted because you have their IP address or e-mail account at your fingertips is unnecessary to win your argument. You or Aram have stated your ability to do this if you want in the past . Just delete or block if you must.

    • Stop Already!

      I just put it to straight and say what Fred won’t but hoped someone as smart as you seem to be would understand. gettsmow, FormerPlayer LAC32 and BBalljunkie have all posted messages from the same IP address. So either a bunch of former players are posting from the same location or someone is posting multiple messages under different accounts. Nobody is who they say they are online and if you think that the whole story is every going to be told by unanimous posters to a blog you are mistaken. All you are going to get is that the Coach is a perfect angel that has been run out by over involved parents on one side and on the other you’ll get all of the kids and their parents are angels and the coach is just an abusive jerk that should have been removed a long time ago. Bottom line is that the girls no longer have a coach and the next one will have a lot of pressure on him or herself to continue the programs success and while being “inspirational” enough to the girls. Oh sorry, that last part was a veiled insult, just wanted to remove the veil so it could seen clearly to some of the other posters here. Some of the parents got their way and others of us are not happy at all. So stop getting all bent out of shape when you hear that their is a difference of opinion is the schools decision to “ask” for coach James’ resignation. No one involved in this whole thing is with out fault or perfect and now we are all left with an imperfect out outcome.

      Why are you so paranoid that you post is going to be censored any way. Nothing that anybody says on here is going to make a difference at this point.

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