BCHS Change: Senall In, Nazario Out
The barbecue held at Beach Channel High School last Wednesday by the varsity football team was to celebrate the end of the school year. But instead of a celebration, it became a funeral type atmosphere as the Dolphins had to say goodbye to their head coach Victor Nazario.
As reported by the Wave a few weeks ago, Nazario will be replaced by former head coach Marty Senall, who won an arbitration case against the Department of Education in early May and regained his job.
“It’s extremely frustrating because there is no one to be angry at except Senall,” Nazario said. When you exert so much time in a program it hurts to not be a part of it.
As head coach in the spring of 2003, Senall was let go by the school after a complaint was filed by one of his football players for being verbally abusive.
As Senall filed an appeal, Nazario, a physical education teacher in Beach Channel and the former junior varsity football coach in 2000 and 2001, took over the program in early August. He quickly got success on the field.
The Dolphins made the playoffs in his first campaign but fell to 1-7 as he fielded a young and inexperienced team. With a young core coming back and talent arriving from a junior varsity team in 2004, Nazario was feverishly working on getting the team ready for September.
The coaching staff and players had also fundraised feverishly to pare down the program’s debt, which was $9,000 at the time of Nazario’s appointment.
But once the rumors began to percolate that Senall had won his case in early May, Nazario knew then that the job would not be his much longer. The ruling gave Senall the right to reclaim the head coaching job and elected to do just that.
The school, though supportive of Nazario’s efforts, could not overrule the decision. Athletic Director Gregory Markle and Dean of Physical Education Mark Sanchez then told him the bad news in early June.
Nazario had believed for weeks that Senall would want his job back. But the announcement still hurts.
“It hurts but I gotten over it. The position was given back to him and I’ll start coaching the girls on time for a change,” Nazario, who is also the head coach of the girls’ basketball team, said.
The two have not spoken to each other in the last few years and it happened once again for four hours last Tuesday at a first aid certification class at Beach Channel. Assistant coach Steve Goldman, who was a longtime assistant under Senall, had to become the intermediary between the former and now present coaches.
“Goldman told me Senall would be here for only one year and I’ll be back next year (2006),” Nazario said. “It’s a selfish reason. Senall says he wants to go out on his own terms. This hurts the kids. That is what his decision does.”
Another consequence is that the players will be missing instruction from five assistant coaches who have left the program. The development of the junior varsity team is also affected as Marc Khan left the position in early June.
Assistant coach Carlos Flores has a similar contentious relationship over the years with Senall. He was the starting center on the Dolphins’ playoff team in 2000.
“I keep asking why does he want to come back to Beach Channel? We started a bond with the guys. We know when the kids are in school and what they do in class,” Flores said.
At the time he was playing, many players questioned the strange motivational and strategic decisions Senall made. Certain stars of the team were not given recommendations in applying to colleges.
After the verbal complaint in 2003, it was rumored that at least half the team would quit if Senall had stayed. History could repeat itself with the 2005 squad.
“Some kids just won’t play for this guy. They don’t know him. Some people don’t see how hard we work with these kids for nine months. We been getting them in the weightroom and in the classes to become eligible,” Flores said. Flores is passionate about coaching and doesn’t want to move to another school if the possibility existed. The bond has been formed and hopefully he can continue to pursue his dream with the Dolphins.
“Beach Channel is our home and it’s given us a lot. We don’t want to leave. I love my job and I love to be around these kids,” Flores said.
The young players, who Nazario has overseen in his tenure as head coach, will have a difficult decision to make. What he won’t do is lower himself by telling the kids to not play football at all. That would hurt the kids he’s been coaching for three years.
“The kids are in an awkward situation and they just want to play football. I respect them if they want to play football. I’m going to be in the building and I’ll be there for them,” Nazario said. “I’m emotionally attached to these kids and that won’t change.”