BVH varsity football head coach resigns after two seasons

Sam+Kirkland+works+with+the+football+team+when+he+was+first+hired+during+the+2017-2018+school+year.+He+now+no+longer+coaches+at+BVH.

the Crusader

Sam Kirkland works with the football team when he was first hired during the 2017-2018 school year. He now no longer coaches at BVH.

Mathias Medel, Staff Writer

Bonita Vista High (BVH) varsity football coach, Sam Kirkland III, officially stepped down from his position on the morning of Feb. 24 after leading the program for the last two seasons. This year, Kirkland coached the team to a 3-7 overall record, landing the Barons in last place of the Metro Mesa Football League. In addition to his position as head football coach, Kirkland withdrew from his position as facilitator of the student help center, ceasing his affiliation with BVH. The reason for his resignation remains unknown.

Athletic Director Tyler Arciaga, scheduled a lunch meeting in the school gymnasium to convey information about Kirkland’s resignation with the football department. All throughout the bleachers of the gym, an array of shocked expressions disseminated onto the faces of both players and parents, as the news was unknown to most.

[With Kirkland] having stepped away from two programs, I understand that kids could be upset, sad. I think probably what’s concerning to them the most would be that maybe he didn’t have the meeting with them to tell him himself. ”

— Athletic Director Tyler Arciaga

“I understand that kids could be upset, and I think probably what’s concerning to them the most would be that [Kirkland] didn’t have a meeting to tell them,” Arciaga said.

Several players also questioned their ability to play during the off-season without a head coach at the lunch meeting. This is attributed to the rules established by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) – the Californian sports governing body – which clarifies that unless a high school football team is part of a club, participation in any squad practices or meet-ups outside of the first interschool contest and the CIF playoffs is illegal.

the Crusader
Sam Kirkland works with the football team when he was first hired during the 2017-2018 school year. He now no longer coaches at BVH.

“We just need to make sure we’re doing things right,” Arciaga said. “Any off-season activities with coaches need to have their Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) paperwork on file with the ASB and also with the district office because it is technically illegal to work with your players out of season, unless you’re part of a club.”

Kirkland had planned to engage his team in the National Football Association’s (NFA) Elite 7v7 West Region Tournament during the month of march in the off-season, giving the Barons the ability to continue competing outside of high school. However, the lack of a head coach eliminates participation in the competition, therefore BVH needs to find a replacement according to Arciaga. Additionally, Arciaga stated that a coach would be hired once a contract is negotiated with BVH teachers and the district office.

“It’s a 10 day process from when [the contract is] posted online [for teachers]. [10 days after that], the contract is [released] to external applicants, meaning off-site coaches, then we can interview and go from there. If there’s somebody qualified on campus that wants to take the job, and [BVH Principal] Dr. Del Rosario wants to hire them, then [the contract] doesn’t need to be posted externally and [a coach would be hired] within the next 10 to 12 days,” Arciaga said.

Regardless of the current situation arising in BVH’s football department, Arciaga expressed that he is confident that the department can move on, continuing to develop as a whole.

“I need to see what the plan is going forward so that we can see if there’s a coach that can do some of the off-season stuff,” Arciaga said. “Ultimately, Bonita kids are resilient and a two to four week hiccup isn’t going to break any season.”