School administrators remained tight-lipped on Monday about the awkwardly timed dismissal of Mark Kessler as San Ramon Valley High football coach one day before the team’s North Coast Section playoff opener.
The move to replace Kessler with interim coach Aaron Becker, the Wolves offensive coordinator, was announced to the players after school on Friday. The Wolves then rallied to beat San Leandro 42-24 in the Division I playoffs at Burrell Field on Saturday night.
The Wolves will face East Bay Athletic League-rival California in San Ramon on Saturday in the NCS quarterfinals.
San Ramon Valley athletic director John Raynor reiterated on Monday that Kessler is still employed as a teacher at the school, where he has taught health, physical education, and football conditioning. He has been teaching at the school since 2004.
A call to San Ramon Valley High principal Ruth Steele was not immediately returned.
The district sent a message to parents of the Wolves players on Friday night, which read: “Mark Kessler will no longer be serving as the Varsity Head Coach/Program Co-ordinator for the SRVHS Football Program. Effective immediately, Aaron Becker will be serving as the interim Varsity Head Coach/Program Co-ordinator.
We are well aware that the timing of this shift in leadership is not ideal, but we have every confidence that our coaching staff have prepared the team well for the NCS game this Saturday. I know that our student athletes will rise to the occasion and make SRVHS proud.”