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Update: Valencia baseball's Snyder takes leave of absence

Vikings head baseball coach is on a leave of absence

Posted: March 21, 2014 10:01 p.m.
Updated: March 21, 2014 10:01 p.m.

Valencia head baseball coach Jared Snyder

 

Valencia head baseball coach Jared Snyder has taken a leave of absence from his teaching job at the school and from the team, the William S. Hart Union High School District confirmed to The Signal on Friday.

It would not disclose the circumstances of his leave, however the situation appears to be of a financial and ethical nature.

A former parent in the program confirmed to The Signal Friday night that he made allegations to the Hart District about those issues and had met with Superintendent Rob Challinor.

“The Hart School District confirms that Valencia High School assistant baseball coach Michael Killinger has assumed the Valencia High School head baseball coaching responsibilities while Coach Jared Snyder is on leave,” said Hart district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

Pinsker said the district would not comment beyond that because it is a personnel matter.

A message was left with Snyder on Friday but not returned.

Valencia High Principal Paul Priesz could only say that Snyder is on leave. He also disputed one media report that stated Snyder had been fired.

Dave Oliva, who has had three sons play in the Valencia baseball program (most recently Jared Oliva, who graduated from Valencia High in 2013), said he brought the allegations because of the “horrible” experience he and his family had with the program.

Oliva, who said he is in law enforcement, said he went to the Hart District to lodge a complaint about ethical issues, such as the coach’s “onfield tobacco use” and “he parks in handicapped spots.”

His next complaint was of a financial nature.

“My complaint was about all the things, the ethical things and money,” Oliva said. “I went directly to the Superintendent Rob Challinor, and he saw me.”

Specifically, he questioned money sent to the Vikings’ “Diamond Club” and said “in my seven years there, not once was there any accounting of money coming in and money coming out.”

Oliva said he didn’t know if the district was investigating.

When Pinsker was told of the allegations by Oliva, she said the Hart District could not make any further comment.

Snyder didn’t respond to a text message regarding knowledge of Oliva’s allegations.

Oliva understands that there are those who would say he’s just a disgruntled former Valencia baseball parent.

“My reaction to that is I’d say to the district to take out everything that happened to my kids and just look at his ethical behavior,” Oliva said.

Priesz said that Killinger is the interim head baseball coach indefinitely.

Snyder has been Valencia baseball’s head coach since 1998, and has been one of the Santa Clarita Valley’s most successful coaches since that time.

Valencia has won eight Foothill League titles during his tenure.

The Vikings played their first game without Snyder on Friday at Hart High School and the mood was unusual.

Parents on both sides — Hart and Valencia — were talking about the situation with many speculating about the circumstances.

After the game, a television news van was parked beyond the outfield fence and coaches and Valencia administrators discussed the possibility of whether it was regarding the coaching situation.

One Valencia player refused to comment on the situation.

“From an onfield aspect, I don’t think it was a problem today,” Killinger said on if the coaching situation was a distraction for the team.

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