Officials at Cosumnes Oaks High School remain mum on the reason for the firing of head varsity football coach Ryan "Scooter" Gomes. The school's athletic director Bill Kapp steered inquiries towards Elk Grove Unified School District athletic director Jim Smrekar on Wednesday.
Smrekar's response has been that the school wanted the football program to go in a different direction and in order for that to happen, a new coach was needed.
Gomes told the Citizen's Jon Gudel he wasn't really given by school principal Patrick McDougall a reason for the dismissal except that McDougall thought the football program at Cosumnes Oaks had grown too large and academics were taking a back seat. McDougall supposedly remarked the presence of college coaches on campus was becoming a big distraction to the students.
Gomes is well-known for effectively promoting his players to area college programs. More than 30 former Cosumnes Oaks players are playing football collegiately.
In the past couple days parents of Cosumnes Oaks football players have begun an online petition drive demanding Gomes' re-instatement. A copy of the petition was emailed to me this morning.
In it they question McDougall's desire to move Wolfpack football in a different direction.
"What new direction?" they write in the petition. "The direction of not being successful? Our team just won the league championship. Coach Gomes was named Coach of the Year ..."
The petition cites the fact that team has maintained a 3.25 overall GPA every year since the school opened in 2008.
"Coach Gomes has proven and demonstrated time and time again that he is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to do what is best for the kids," they also wrote.
People close to the school think the petition probably won't help re-instate Gomes that there are other factors went into the decision that led to his dismissal. These matters are probably why McDougall and Kapp aren't talking.
The school district posted the coaching vacancy on Monday. It is a possibility that one of the current Wolfpack assistant coaches could be named the interim head coach for the coming fall.
UPDATE (Sat. 7/12): Wolfpack Assistant Coach Derick Milgrim has been named the interim varsity head coach.