The San Fernando High School varsity baseball team began practice this week for its 2020 Division I season.
But longtime Head Coach Armando Gomez is not with the team. And it is unknown whether he will return in that — or any other capacity — to the school.
Gomez, who is also a dean of students at San Fernando High, was placed on administrative leave by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) while it investigates complaints of an alleged confrontation with a student, and questions regarding team fundraising efforts — complaints that neither the school nor district officials will confirm or deny.
“All I can tell you is right now is that Gomez is not at the school,” SFHS Athletic Director Anthony Chavez said. “He is having an issue with the district, and until that gets resolved he will not be here. We were hoping he would have been back sometime this winter or in the spring semester, but he’s still not back.
“We met with parents, and told them that he might still be back but we don’t know. We have Casondra Acosta as interim coach of the baseball team. She has a background in softball, and she knows the game. We will also have alumni and the JV coach assisting her.”
When contacted, a spokesperson for the district replied by email, saying, “All personnel matters are confidential.”
Gomez was also contacted by the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol, but said he is not able to comment.
Acosta is the first female coach to be in charge of the San Fernando High baseball program.
“I had stepped away from coaching but I decided to do this to make sure the kids here have a season,” Acosta said. “Right now this is where we’re at, and we want to keep things moving forward.”
Gomez was named the varsity baseball coach at San Fernando in 1996. He led the program to Division I championships in 2011 and 2013.
The Tigers will open the regular season at Palisades High School of Pacific Palisades on Feb. 15.