Following complaints from parents, the Española Valley High School volleyball program is officially under an internal investigation.
The allegations are against the team’s head coach, Damon Salazar, who received complaints from some of his player’s parents after they sat a game due to missing a practice. Salazar has in place a strict policy of discipline, which includes: showing up late to practice equaling sitting out a set and missing a practice altogether means sitting a full match. This is a policy that Salazar has upheld for the extent of his career – Española since 2009 and in the local area for the past 20 years.
“We’re looking into some things that parents and players brought forward as a concern,” said Española Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez to the Rio Grande Sun. “I don’t have any outcome or anything today. There are still some interviews going on.”
Due to the complaints and the investigation, Salazar is not allowed to have any contact with his players until the situation is resolved.
The allegations have led to fierce rumors about Salazar resigning from his job amid the complaints from local teams – however, these are untrue. Though, this could leave Salazar in a tough position as coaching contracts with the school are renewed on a yearly basis.
This past season, Española Valley finished the season with a 7-12 record, lower than in Salazar’s past. The record led to the squad missing a playoff berth, the first time this had happened since 2011.