Mims Defends Performance as Muir Coach

From Staff Reports

Former Pasadena Muir football coach Ron Mims said he believes he has been made a scapegoat for problems that plague the school after being fired last week for what officials told him was a lack of discipline in his program.

Muir has been the subject of national attention in recent months after a teacher at the school distributed a letter blaming African American students for disruptive behavior and low test scores.

Mims said Principal Eddie Newman insinuated in a meeting that the coach should be accountable for how his athletes perform in class and act at lunch.

"I'm only the head football coach. I can't be everywhere," said Mims, who was retained as athletic director and teacher. "As far as football was concerned, we improved every week, won a league [co-championship] and put ourselves in a position to do well in the playoffs.

"None of that could have been possible if we didn't have any discipline in what we were doing."

Erik Nasarenko, the Pasadena Unified School District's director of communications, said he could not discuss Mims' dismissal because it was a personnel matter.

Muir was 8-13 the last two seasons but went 4-1 in Pacific League play last season to share the championship with Arcadia.

-- Ben Bolch

Oak Park senior Lyndsey Medders, one of the top girls' basketball players in the Southland, remains ineligible to play until a hearing Wednesday, said Paul Castillo, Southern Section assistant commissioner.

Medders was declared ineligible on Monday because of a dual-residency issue in which her family owned a home in Westlake Village, which was still occupied by a son attending Westlake High. Other family members live in a leased Oak Park residence.

Medders attended North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake last season and transferred to Oak Park this school year.

"The school and the family are cooperating with the CIF inquiry," Oak Park Principal Cliff Moore said. "Based on the current ruling, Lyndsey is still ineligible.... We're hopeful some more recent information regarding the sale and escrow of their home will have an impact on this situation."

-- Martin Henderson

Bill Pendleton has been promoted to replace Gary Meek as football coach at Anaheim Esperanza.

Pendleton, who has coached at the school for 27 years, was the Aztecs' defensive coordinator and strength coach. Meek stopped coaching football after 17 seasons to take over as Esperanza's athletic director.

California has pulled off a recruiting coup in Southern California, receiving commitments from receiver Noah Smith of Woodland Hills Taft, tight end Craig Stevens of Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula and defensive lineman Junior Lemau'u of Long Beach Poly. Taft quarterback Cary Dove had committed earlier to California.

Other commitments:

* Offensive lineman Chris Piligian of Newhall Hart to Fresno State.

* Linebacker Rob Lewis of Van Nuys Montclair Prep to Washington.

* Receiver Corey Boudreaux of Santa Ana Mater Dei to San Diego State.

* Defensive back Paul Pratt from Taft and defensive lineman David Sampson of Cypress have committed to Nevada.

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