Daley out as Gilroy High’s athletic director

A search for Jack Daley's replacement will begin next week.

Story updated Wednesday afternoon: Jack Daley will not be back
next year as Gilroy High School’s athletic director. Superintendent
Debbie Flores confirmed a search for Daley’s replacement will begin
next week. Full article
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Jack Daley’s ouster as Gilroy High School’s athletic director has prompted upset coaches to speak out on his behalf about a flawed system and hold a closed meeting to discuss the situation.

Longtime GHS coach and teacher Chuck Ogle said a meeting of coaches is scheduled tonight.

“Bottom line is, we don’t know the whole story, but we want to see what we can do to be supportive of Jack and at the same time be respectful to the district,” Ogle said. “I know Jack. He is a noble man. Jack is a busy man. Could things have slipped though? Sure. But I cannot believe in my heart that he knowingly gave a vehicle to someone (without a valid driver’s license.)”

Ogle, furthermore, said a public forum is tentatively in the works for next Tuesday at a local church and that details on that could be forthcoming.

“If there is any way I can fight for Jack, I would,” said GHS girls golf coach Trudi Souza. “Jack has done so much for this community. It’s just ridiculous. Everything he did was in the best interest of the kids.”

Superintendent Debbie Flores confirmed a search for Daley’s replacement will begin next week, but would not discuss the circumstances surrounding his dismissal.

“We are posting the position and will hire a new athletic director for next season,” Flores said.

Daley will remain a full-time paid employee of the Gilroy Unified School District, in a capacity that has yet to be determined, Flores said.

Flores declined to discuss whether the decision to remove Daley from his athletic director post had any connection to former GHS track and field head coach Alvin Harrison’s DUI arrest while on a school athletic trip.

“I can’t and will not begin to discuss details of personnel issues,” Flores said. “Everyone has the right to confidentiality.”

However, Flores did say that the district’s ensuing investigation into circumstances surrounding Harrison’s DUI arrest had been concluded.

“A number of steps will be taken internally,” Flores said. “There will be changes in our procedures within the district.”

Harrison caused a two-vehicle wreck on April 7 sending two people to the hospital while driving a school-rented van, according to the California Highway Patrol.

No students were with Harrison in the rented vehicle.

It was later found Harrison did not have a valid driver’s license.

Joel Herrera, GUSD Human Resources assistant superintendent, said it had been discovered during the early stages of the school district’s investigation that Daley rented the van Harrison used to attend a track meet in Arcadia with four GHS sprinters.

“This is a very difficult decision,” Flores said. “Jack Daley has done a wonderful job over the years.”

Souza said she felt that Daley fell victim to a faulty system.

“The process in which we hire coaches and keep track of them failed,” Souza said. “I just don’t understand how Jack is responsible for (Harrison’s) mistake. There is no reason to blame him.”

Daley first came to GHS in 1988 as a substitute teacher and took over as athletic director in 2000. He was named the Central Coast Section’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2007.

“From what we hear, this is wrong,” GHS field hockey coach Adam Gemar said. “I don’t have the answers and I don’t know all the details. But it seems like he is a scapegoat of some sort. If there was a mistake, I don’t think it should’ve led to a firing, but maybe changes in procedure. After years and years of service, it doesn’t seem right.”

GHS girls soccer coach Jose Hernandez said Daley’s dismissal appeared to be “politics 101.”

“I don’t understand why we aren’t focusing on procedure and on just one person,” he said. “It seems to be more about politics than safety. It shows the culture of what have you done for me lately.

“Jack is one of the more respected athletic directors in the area,” Hernandez continued. “If it comes out that he made a mistake, I’d would be like, ‘OK, you made a mistake. We all do.’ He has done enough good things. He is a community man. He has always modeled his leadership.”

GHS Principal Marco Sanchez said Daley has been moved into a super-substitute position and will finish the year in that capacity. Sanchez added that options for an on-campus position for next year are being explored.

“I am very sad. This has been a trying few weeks,” Sanchez said. “I wish there was a better outcome. There will be a place for him here on campus.

“It’s going to be hard to imagine GHS athletics without coach Daley,” Sanchez added. “He is a first-class, first-rate guy and I have respect for him. He has done a lot for GHS athletics.”

Parent Margie Hemeon is imploring other parents and students via Facebook to attend Thursday’s District Board meeting and speak Daley’s behalf.

“Please come to show your support. I encourage any of you to sign up to speak as well,’ Hemeon wrote. “Come early to get you name on the list. In any case, please tell all your fellow GHS Parents and Friends to come out in numbers to show support for Mr. Daley. He has been one of the best reasons why Gilroy Is Great!! Let’s make sure the Board really understands why it is in the best interest of all to immediately reinstate Mr. Daley.”

Calls to Daley were not immediately returned.

To read more on GUSD’s investigation, click here.

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