Suprising end to 30-year career at TUHS
Longtime Taft High School baseball coach Dave Robertson has been relieved of his head coaching duties.
Athletics Director Marsha Eubank said Robertson, who has coached the varsity baseball team for 30 years, was notified on May 25 that he was being released.
News of Robertson’s dismissal as coach – he will continue teaching social science at Taft High – surfaced Monday.
“When it’s a personnel issue, I really try to keep it as confidential as possible,” Eubank said. “It’s usually between me and the coach.”
She said the decision was made internally.
“It did not come from the board (of trustees).”
Eubank would not discuss specifics of alleged philosophical differences between Robertson and administrators – issues he addressed in comments made to Bakersfield Californian prep reporter Zach Ewing.
“I’m not sure what his perception of that would be,” she said. “I can’t read him on that.”
But she did state that an oversight on Robertson’s part following the team’s participation in a tournament in Selma during the season was a factor.
The Wildcats had a 3-1 record after pool play, which earned them a spot in the third place game.
Robertson was notified with a cell phone call during the team’s fourth game of the tourney. However, his phone was off and he didn’t turn it back on until the team had returned home.
“Yes, it had something to do with it,” Eubank said in response to a question about the incident’s role in his dismissal.
Asked if any action was taken against Robertson following that incident, she said, “He received a formal letter.”
Robertson could not immediately be reached for comment.
He spends his summers in Oregon.
He, therefore, is unable to participate in the summer speed and strength camp for student athletes. The school’s administration – including the Board of Trustees – has pushed for more participation in the camp from members of the coaching staff.
Eubank wouldn’t comment on whether that factored into Robertson’s difficulties with administrators.
“I can’t comment on that,” she said. “I can only comment on the personnel issue.
The speed and strength camp began on Monday, she said, with about 90 participants. That number is expected to climb once members of the girls basketball and baseball teams, who were competing in summer games Monday, join the camp.
Eubank said a recommendation on a replacement for Robertson will be sent to the board when it meets next Monday at 6 p.m., but didn’t say who that would be.
The varsity assistant coaches are Arley Hill and Craig Hamilton. Hill is a physical education teacher at Taft High and Hamilton teaches at Lincoln Junior High.
Robertson has coached the Wildcats since 1981 following a stint at Taft College. In that time he has posted a 456-307-1 record and won 10 South Sequoia League titles. His teams have made it to the section championship game eight times but never won a Valley title.
Robertson quit as head coach in 2004 following a dispute with the administration but returned the following year.