The Burroughs High baseball team, which has endured its share of controversy and strife over the last seven months, suffered another blow Monday when its coach was fired.
Eddie Alvarez, who was hired as the new Indians’ coach in June, was dismissed because of “inconsistent leadership,” said Burroughs Principal Emilio Urioste on Monday morning.
Urioste didn’t elaborate further on the specifics of the dismissal, but did confirm there were no major incidents or violations that prompted Alvarez’s firing.
“I will be sharing this information on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. with our boosters and sharing with them what we will be doing in terms of the remainder of the fall ball season that we have and the search for our new coach,” Urioste said.
Alvarez said he met with Urioste at the school at approximately 10 a.m. Monday, when he was told that he was being relieved of his duties. The coach said he was floored by the news that took him by complete surprise.
“I was on the phone talking to [Burroughs Athletic Director Jose Valle] while I was on my way to being fired and we were discussing our practices this week,” Alvarez said. “He didn’t even know.
“I had no idea at all that this was coming. I thought we were moving in the right direction and I thought we were doing some good things with the team and all of a sudden I’m fired? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m just blown away.”
Alvarez, who came to Burroughs after being an assistant at West Ranch under Casey Burrill and an assistant at Granada Hills under Josh Lienhard, admitted there was a problem concerning some Indians assistant coaches during the summer.
“We had a problem and we got rid of them there and then,” he said. “I took care of it. I called them and said ’You guys are done, thanks a lot but we just don’t need this in our program.’ And we haven’t had one coaching problem since.”
Alvarez alluded to an incident during a summer league game where he was not present in which Burroughs assistant coaches “ran up the score” on another team and “didn’t shake the opposing coach’s hand” after a game.
Alvarez added he has had some previous problems with the Burroughs baseball boosters, but he was under the impression that any outstanding issues had been resolved.
“We all had a sit down and we figured everything out. We haven’t had a problem since,” he said.
Alvarez was hired following a well-publicized incident that occurred last season involving the Indians. The school fired the varsity baseball coach and three assistants and canceled the remainder of the season in April after discovering an assistant coach allegedly served players beer during a tournament trip to Arizona.
Indians Coach J.R. Schwer and the assistants, who were all at the mid-March tournament, were fired April 18. Schwer, who said he learned about the incident just three days before he was let go, acknowledged that a large number of players were served alcohol by an assistant coach.
Initially, 11 players who drank were suspended five days. Seven athletes who were aware of the incident, but failed to come forward were given two-day suspensions. However, the suspensions of the seven players who did not participate were later rescinded.
With the baseball season four months away, Urioste said the school will step up its efforts to find a new coach. The principal added that interviews will begin the week of Nov. 14.
Last season, the Indians (9-7-1, 3-2 in league) were tied for third in the Pacific League when the season was halted.