Calif. school fires legendary baseball coach for no clear reason

Prep Rally

When you've been coaching in the same school district for as long as Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) High baseball coach Sam Blalock has, you expect to be treated with a little respect. Blalock taught and coached in the Poway Unified School District for 40 years, winning 10 California Interscholastic Federation San Diego Section baseball titles — four at Mt. Carmel (Calif.) High and six at Rancho Bernardo — and turning Rancho Bernardo into a baseball powerhouse.

But despite his recent success at the school -- his team had won the last two San Diego Section baseball titles -- the principal felt his best wasn't good enough. As the North County Times reported, Blalock was called into Rancho Bernardo principal Paul Robinson's office on Wednesday and told that if he didn't resign from his coaching post, he'd be fired.

"I was called into Principal Paul Robinson's office and was asked to resign," Blalock told the North County Times. "If I didn't resign, I was told he'd have to fire me.

"I didn't resign.

"There wasn't much I could say back. I'm stunned. I don't know what I did wrong."

Almost a week after his firing, Blalock still isn't quite sure why he was fired. After being forced out at the school for no apparent reason, the principal at Rancho Bernardo and district officials have refused to release any information to back up the firing.

As the North County Times reported, officials had said a statement would be released on Thursday following the firing. But it took them another two days, and two revised release dates, to get a quote on record. One district superintendent told NBC San Diego that they were still trying to find out "exactly what transpired" during the Wednesday meeting.

"I have nothing but respect for Sam and the teams he has coached over his many years in PUSD," Robinson said in a statement on Friday regarding the termination. "The timing of this was not the best."

That's an understatement. While Robinson may have a legitimate reason for firing Blalock, this whole situation spiraled out of control when he refused to give the coach a reason for his termination. Even if it was for budgetary reasons, Blalock had a right to know why he was getting a pink slip.

District officials had scheduled their next meeting for Dec. 12, but with this ordeal getting out of control, most assume they'll have things cleared up in the next couple of days.

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