AWHS girls lacrosse coach released from coaching position

AWHS varsity girls lacrosse team huddles around Assistant coach Ted Hellman during their game against San Rafael high school.

Jasmin Desruisseau

AWHS varsity girls lacrosse team huddles around Assistant coach Ted Hellman during their game against San Rafael high school.

Last week, AWHS girls lacrosse coach, Alex Gauna, was abruptly released from his coaching position at AWHS. The reason for this event is undisclosed, yet has affected the team greatly.

The team started their season in early Feb. and are preparing for their first game against Vintage High School on Mar. 17. However, without a head coach, girls lacrosse captains have had to step up along with the assistant coach, Ted Hellman, to keep the team moving forward as the season progresses.

“It’s been a slow start already to this season because player participation has been slim, especially now that [administration] took away our coach. [Gauna] kind of glued our team together, he had so much passion and so much energy for what we did and supported us as players more than any coach, at least in my experience, so it’s kind of tough building back that morality,” said AWHS senior and team captain Lyla Johnston.

The next step for the season is to find a new head coach, and AWHS Athletic Director, Jett Russell, is already scoping the Bay Area for a good fit. The search is difficult, as the season already began and most coaches already found positions elsewhere. Russel reached out to athletic directors, local PE teachers, and coaches in the nearby area, but for the time being, the team is relying on volunteer support. 

“At the moment, we do have one parent that has stepped up to volunteer for a bit, and our assistant coach has stepped up big to help,” Russel said. 

Without a head coach, the team is brainstorming ways to continue bonding as a team. Russell and other administrators have offered support to the team for the disruptions the coaching replacement may cause.

Even with this assistance from administrators and others, the team feels that they are being left unattended in the middle of the season, with no one to fill in their head coaching position. It has been difficult for both Junior Varsity and Varsity teams because they removed their head coach without finding a replacement in advance. 

“We’re sitting here on the field, no coach or person to bring us together and we have a season to start. I feel like they are leaving us high and dry,” said Lyla. “We just feel that we weren’t put first when they made this rash decision.”

The team continues to persevere through this unusual situation, waiting for the call that they have a new head coach.