Gumbs resigns as Oakland High football coach

Desmond Gumbs resigned Tuesday as Oakland High’s football coach, citing problems with the school’s administration.

“The administration was horrible; there was no support there,” Gumbs said, before acknowledging that vice principal Oliver Chambers had been a supportive hand during his tenure. “After getting four kids scholarships this year, I would think they’d be real supportive. It’s too bad.”

The Wildcats were Oakland Athletic League co-regular-season champions in 2008 and went 12-8-1 in Gumbs’ two seasons, after going 3-26-1 the previous three years. Four seniors from this year’s class (Damante Horton, David Douglas, Kelly Mitchell and Edward Davis) earned scholarships to play college football.

Oakland athletic director Carlos Sutton wasn’t immediately aware of Gumbs’ resignation Tuesday afternoon, but disputed Gumbs’ claims of lack of support.

“He had a lot of support,” Sutton said. “He was not supportive, dealing with paperwork and all the other things that haven’t been getting done. (Coaching) is not just about the X’s and O’s. It’s about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.”

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.

  • lb050nit

    Carlos Sutton had a very non supportive response. Wow better catch Gumbs before its too late

  • The Genius

    Gumbs was a terrible coach, a terrible coach, he was not in tune with the players, it was not he who assisted getting those kids the exposure to receive scholarships. Sutton’s hands were tied as an athletic director, when it was time for a change, the process was impeded by the Vice-Principal to not get rid of Gumbs. There was too much behind the scenes; and Gumbs knew it was only a matter of time before he lost the other coaches to the program. If Oakland High lost the position coaches, next season, they would be 0-and whatever.

  • Paydirt

    Gotta get back to work and finish that paperwork. Wins don’t matter, just the paperwork. Now dot the i’s and cross the t’s. There, all done now.

    That’s less support than bOXers. Geeze.

  • E_CULB

    To be fair to Carlos his response steemed probably from a question he was asked in regards to what was said about the support.

  • Give the man his respect he got there & then they won. 3 wins in 3 seasons says it all. If the assistants were that big they would have gotten the job.

    What could have been going on in February that woould cause a coach to resign? What support did he need? Getting kids in certain classes, tutors? Did this have to do with raising money that kind of support?

  • First off its sounds like a** kissing to me if Oakland High adminstration is horrible, then you must include them all (dont exclude names). One voice in administration at a small high school can make a differance, obvious you didnt even have support from the Vice Principle Oliver Chamber either. Second I see that Desmond Gumbs mentioned his self in his statment that,”After getting four kids scholarships this year, I would think they’d be real supportive. It’s too bad.” Desmond Gumbs not once gave credit to his players, because it was them who earned the scholarships, they worked hard on the field, and developed their talents with there prior coaches. Carlos Sutton worked hard to get the program up and running. If administation was so horible, Desmond should have discovered that during your first season coaching, why did he come back? Oakland high administration didnt change over night, the same staff has been there and the same problems has been facing Oakland sport programs for many years. For a program to run effectively, you need a team. That includes the head coach working cooperatively with administration, athletic director, assitance coaches, players, and the parents.

  • lb050nit… Dont worry Carlos Sutton doesnt have to catch Coach Gumbs before its too late. Its already too late. Hes not coming back because he is not responsible, he doesnt know how to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Coach Gumbs shouldnt have to blame his lack of compentance, and lack of responsibility on admin. Be a MAN and Man -up.

  • Paydirt

    Hey #6 – Keepin It Real. I totally miss your point. Can you bring it in 1 sentence with 25 words or less without the blah blah blah? Just the facts.

    #7 – OAL Fanatic. Just checking, but is sounds like you accept the coaches resignation(?). I would take WINS over dottin’ I’s and crossin’ T’s, blah blah blah, versus administration BS. Please clarify your position. The coach resigned on principle and is clearly MANNING UP. The administrator supporting the coach like bOXer shorts IS MANNING DOWN. A smart AD will hire coach Gumbs, and not let him go over petty BS. TRUE.

  • brandonbeard

    It is just sad to see the same thing over again at this school. I hope that they can find some consistency for that coaching position to continue to help the kids mature as men and learn to play the game of football. I will not point blame anywhere, but I will just say that it is unfortunate for the program to not have a coach this late in the off-season, hopefully they get someone quickly who can be effective and efficient.

  • lb050nit

    OAL Fanatic – its not like the O-High AD will accept the football coaching job. He probably doesnt know anything about football. You got to understand, the OAL got a new commisioner and the AD wasn’t up to speed on any of the new Commisioner new and improved regulations. Gumbs has probably been doing the same thing for years. Did the commisioner introduce him self to Gumbs. Probably not. But I bet the AD got to meet him. As a matter of fact the Principle, Vice Principle, Dean of students all met the commisioner right. What was the AD’s feedback. Probably something like “Good Luck this year coach Gumbs. See ya later”.

  • E_CULB

    All the coaches got to meet Mr. Moore. And Moore made it clear waht he expected from coaches and administration.

  • lb050nit

    E – So is it the AD’s job to do nothing. Or is it like Carlos said “Go coach your boys and dot your I’s and cross your own T’s”. E, Carlos has tried to fire Gumbs before. Obviously, the only thing consistant is the constant harrasment for the AD.

  • bigrdp

    The AD was the Head JV Coach for at least the past 3 seasons until he stepped away from that position. You are right about the football program.. They should hire a young coach and give him the oppotunity to grow with the proogram. Consistency is very important to a program.

  • coach Mel

    Gumbs got those kids their scholarships. College coaches don’t usually come to recruit the OAL for football, so it was Gumbs that brought those coaches to recruit those players. Where was Douglas headed before he came to Oakland High? Who would have thought Horton would be a D1 player? Those two other kids that no one has heard of got full ride football scholarships. Who cares if he had to forfeit games each year for paperwork and ineligible players, and loses an inordinate number of players each year to grades. He brought a winning atmosphere to Oakland High and at least those players that became ineligible got to be seen by college coaches.

  • Jimmy Durkin

    Coach Mel,
    This comment has nothing to do with Gumbs, but you are a little off base is saying college coaches don’t come to recruit the OAL for football. Until the addition of De La Salle to the EBAL, there wasn’t a league in the East Bay that came close to producing the amount of Div. I football players that the OAL does. And I think the OAL might still hold a slight edge on the EBAL (Kyle Bonagura does a great job keeping track so I’d have to check his numbers). It’s true that Oakland High hasn’t produced many Div. 1 players, so I’m guessing that’s what you meant to say.

  • E_CULB

    Thank you Jimmy, that comment was crazy. And for the record Dave Douglas was on coaches radar’s before he went to O-High, and so was Horton if you were around last year you would have be privy to a debate about Horton or Horne.

    lb050nit- That’s not what I’m saying at all alot of what you said was very true I was speaking to the point of taking Carlos’s comments in context, he appeared to be responding to a question that was asked him, what I do know of him he doesnt appear to be the type of person that would just go to the media and start bad mouthing a person. But from experience the only thing being the head coach gets you is an interview with the press and in charge of the paper work plus everything else the assistant coaches do. It’s not that fun at all. And lets’ all be real unless you have inside information we all know there are some things that went on we just dont know about.

  • Coach Murph

    There are alot of things you guys dont know about.

  • E_CULB

    Murph if you spoke I would listen.

  • NorCalFBFollower

    If Gumbs was such a great coach and did such a great job with these players, why did struggle to score in the OAL and how did they only tie the last-place team in the BVAL (Liberty)? Also, they got dominated by SRV. Sounds to me like exceptional athletes without too much great coaching going on.

  • brandon beard

    You know it is easy to speak on a subject when ur looking from the outside in, but those asst. coaches who worked their really know what went down. Personally I know Douglas had many looks before he came to Oakland, Horton was easily a D1 player since his sophmore year. The other 2 guys were really good students and they were able to get in school as well, so really the kids earned their scholarships, the coach did not get it for them, in any case that’s that way I feel about it. I hope they can hire someone who plans to be there for many years to come and not just two and out or 1 and out. They need someone who is going to have the patience to build a program and help build that culture of football, along with the academics which is the most important part of all of this. And I hope they can keep their asst. coaches around becuause I hear they kept things together there, but we will have to see.

  • lb050nit

    E – Thats true. Nobody is totally innocent. But in Carlos response there was tension. Carlos directed his comments straight to the head coach. Gumbs was at entire administration.

    However, I think you make the most sense in that “if Murph talked I would listen”.

  • Coach Murph

    There is really nothin to say. Douglas, Horton and Edavis played for me at the Dynamites and they are used to winning. They were already groomed for college. They would have got a scholarship any where they went. Ask the kids what was going on and they will tell you. Kelly Mitchell is a good player. All the boys earned their scholarships and would have got one anyway. All of them are STUDENT atheletes.

  • I just needed someone to blame. I must admit it those boy worked hard to get there own scholarships, by going to camps and marketing them selves to different colleges. Oakland has always had great althelets thats why I wanted to give back here.


    Gumbs chose who he wanted to be exposed. It’s no secret Horton was shown more favor than the rest of the players, even though he didn’t need it. Douglas came with offers and didn’t get anymore exposure than he had already. Gumbs didn’t provide film to the other players in timely manner let alone submit film to the colleges.

  • As a former college and high school coach, I an speak to the fact that the a head coach alone is not enough to “get” a player a scholarship. Players are students first, athletes second, so all a coach can do is “talk it up” more.
    Trust me, colleges spend good money each year on scouting services that provide lists of possible recruits, therefore, NOBODY is going to go un-seen. A good college recruiter is going to evaluate the player on his own, not just trust the word of the coach. Bottom line, Douglas and Horton go D1 with or without Gumbs. The job of a football coach is no different from that other department leaders, there are certain deliverables that must be met. Wins certainly aren’t everything; process, planning, procedure, and a commitment to the kids are just as important.