Jaclyn Johnson denied a report she has resigned from her positions as Athletic Director and head girls’ basketball coach as the Guards (23-8) prepare for their Division IV state playoff game against L.A. Baptist (24-3) on March 7.
“Not true,” she said early Tuesday. “I haven’t even thought about it.”
The Los Angles Daily News had reported her resignation on Monday citing reports that she had resigned following a loss in the semifinals on February 25.
“As far as I am concerned the future only goes as far as Wednesday’s game,” she said. “This program is near and dear to me, this school is too. I am here because I am an alumni who is proud of what the Guards represent.”
Johnson did say she will sit down with school administration after the season, but she says this is common practice at the end of each season.
A former star at Bell-Jeff, Johnson went on to play at UCLA. Speculation had been that she had tired with the struggles that come with trying to keep the small private school afloat in tough economic times and declining enrollment in recent years.
In addition, Bell-Jeff has had its share of turmoil this school year, including a brawl at the conclusion of its boys’ volleyball match against St. Monica on Saturday evening as first reported by BurbanknBeyond.
At least one minor was arrested and one student was hospitalized. Police were summoned to the Providence High Gymnasium and questioned dozens of fans and players.
Johnson called the latest incident unfortunate.
“It is not something we condone from players who wear the Guards’ uniform and who represent our school and our traditions,” she said. “Emotions run high in sports, but there is no excuse for what occurred.”
Johnson did defend her coaches and players asking that no judgment be made until all the facts are learned. The school is investigating as is the CIF Southern Section.
“They have their version and we have ours but from all accounts my coaches had told the players during a timeout to control their emotions,” she said. “And the truth is that the officials allowed constant jawing back and forth throughout the game… this failure on their part was a factor in what happened after the game.
My Dean of Discipline and I will continue getting to the bottom of it and we expect all at the school to cooperate with the investigations.”
Johnson added that the rumored resignation and the incident at the volleyball match last weekend are unfortunately overshadowing a stellar season from her team.