Mesquite boys basketball coach Tom Saltzstein’s attempt to withdraw his coaching letter of resignation was denied.
Gilbert Public Schools spokeswoman Dianne Bowers confirmed that the letter of resignation was accepted, and the withdrawal attempt denied, but she did not know why.
After a tumultuous five days, Saltzstein had a meeting Tuesday afternoon with principal Cecillia Peterson and athletic director Anthony Scanio, where Saltzstein said he was told that the school will be moving forward in replacing him.
The school district confirmed Saltzstein could continue teaching at the school.
Repeated attempts to reach Scanio and Peterson this week have been unsuccessful.
Mesquite went 25-5 last season, winning the 5A Division I Central Region tournament before losing to Corona del Sol in the first round of the state tournament.
Saltzstein resigned on Friday from his coaching post, but the reasons are unclear.
One source told the Tribune that Saltzstein’s resignation was the result of a meeting Thursday between Saltzstein, Scanio and Peterson in which Saltzstein was told by
Peterson that the school would be bringing in a different coach.
Scanio confirmed on Saturday that he received the letter, and denied it was at the behest of the administration. “We did not ask anyone to resign,” Scanio said last weekend.
On Monday, Saltzstein had a change of heart, sending an e-mail to Peterson asking for his job back.
“After much soul searching and rounds of discussion with my mentors, family and colleagues, I have come to a conclusion that I was rash in my decision to resign my position,” Saltzstein said in the e-mail.
Saltzstein isn’t the only Mesquite coach that may not return.
Baseball coach Jeff Holland said last week that the elimination of teaching positions could affect him.
“With budget cuts, they’re going to cut teachers, and I’m on the chopping block,” Holland said.
In addition, girls volleyball coach Kristal Harris may be losing her teaching position and coaching job, and football coach Mike Reardon will continue to coach football, but will likely lose his teaching job.
The prospective coaching changes have alarmed supporters. A Facebook page entitled “Save MHS Sports and the Wildcat Community” has been created, and more than 350 members have joined as of Tuesday afternoon.
The page, started by boys basketball statistician Monikkah Heredia, has messages from various student-athletes voicing their support for the coaches.
A “peaceful protest” is expected to take place on Wednesday at 6:45 a.m. in front of the school’s administration building.
“They are hoping to accomplish a respectful and peaceful demonstration to get the word out about what is happening with the athletic department and to get some answers,” Rachel Heredia, Monikkah’s mom, wrote in an e-mail.