Maxwell fires baseball coach
The Maxwell High baseball team faces another coaching shakeup after head coach Nate Manor was fired on Friday.
Maxwell Unified School District Superintendent Ron Turner declined to comment on Manor’s release because it is a personnel issue.
Manor said he was told he was a bad influence on the players and didn’t do his duties as a baseball coach. The dismissal, he added, was a surprise.
Several specific actions throughout the season were brought up in his conversation with school officials on Friday, including a poker game with a $5 buy-in at a team dinner early in the season, Manor said.
“We had a team dinner and I made a mistake. It was a $5 buy-in, but I wasn’t trying to get us in trouble, I just didn’t think about it,” Manor said.
Manor said he also was told several on-field incidents played a part: He kicked a bucket in the dugout; he was ejected from a game during the Shasta Lake Bass Easter Baseball Classic; and he missed one day of that tournament to attend a Marine Corps officer camp for people interested in joining the service.
In the two games Manor missed for the Marine camp, former coach Eric Lay stepped in for him. Last season, Lay was ejected from a game during the same tournament.
After the Panthers’ 5-0 loss Thursday to Valley Christian of Roseville, Manor also was involved in an incident with the parent of a Maxwell player, but declined to go into detail.
The Panthers’ record is 12-7 this year and the team is undefeated in Five-Star League play. All seven of the team’s losses have been against upper-division teams.
Lay and Sonny Badaluco will replace Manor for the rest of the season. Lay led the Panthers to six section titles in 11 seasons before retiring at the end of last year to help coach his children’s Little League teams.
During the Panthers’ undefeated championship run last season, Badaluco served as an assistant coach, but will take on a much larger role in the interim because of Lay’s commitment to his children’s teams.
“From what I understand I’m the head coach and that’s the way we’ve been running practice,” Badaluco said. “It’s only been two days and it’s already been pretty good; the kids seem to be transitioning fine.”
Manor has asked Colusa High coach Mike West if he could help the RedHawks.
West said he didn’t have any qualms about bringing Manor back to Colusa, where he helped coach football and basketball before taking the head coach position at Maxwell.
“I’ve known (Manor) since he was a freshman in high school, he’s always been a positive influence on kids over here. He asked if he could help and I had no issue with that at all,” West said.