Players, parents back ousted coach at Woodlake High


At the Woodlake Unified School District regular board meeting Wednesday, April 19, parents and students spoke in support of rehiring Pam Castillo, junior varsity volleyball coach at Woodlake High School and WHS alum who was raised in Three Rivers, after she was told the program would be “going in a different direction next year” during an evaluation with Jose Palomo, WHS athletic director.  
According to Drew Sorensen, WUSD superintendent, Palomo is not required to explain the reason for dismissal because athletic coaches are hired on a year-to-year basis. Castillo was not given a copy of her evaluation nor a specific reason for dismissal.  
Sorensen  said there will continue to be a discussion based on the testimonies made in support of Castillo at the April board meeting.  
Castillo remains puzzled, she said, as the only friction she encountered was not with players or parents but with varsity volleyball’s head coach Yvette Garcia. She said that not only did she have a winning record, parents and fellow coaches expressed admiration for her players’ performances on the court.  
“I have great credentials and experience,” said Pam. “This has nothing to do with my abilities.”
“This is personal,” she continued. “I’m not sure which direction [the athletic program is] intending to go. As the leader of the entire volleyball program, Coach Garcia could have included the JV and Frosh squads in more fundraising and fostered relationships with the varsity girls. Many girls became alienated and frustrated by her lack of communication and favoritism, sometimes electing to quit volleyball altogether.”
Supporters of varsity coach Garcia said some parents who spoke in support of Castillo have spread negative statements regarding Garcia’s behavior as a coach. It was also expressed that her coaching style and decision-making is her prerogative as head coach.  
Coach Garcia did not return phone calls requesting comment.

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