Randy Angel

Mira Costa’s Olson seeks immediate reinstatement

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Mira Costa baseball coach Cassidy Olson hopes the sanctions levied against him will soon be lifted. Photo by Randy Angel

Mira Costa baseball coach Cassidy Olson hopes the sanctions levied against him will soon be lifted. Photo by Randy Angel

Mira Costa head baseball coach Cassidy Olson is seeking full reinstatement of his duties which have been limited to 6th period practices until March 24.

In November 2012, Mira Costa High School Principal Ben Dale sent an email to parents stating that he was conducting a review of school’s baseball program. Athletic Director Don Morrow and Vice Principal Ian Drummond conducted 69 player interviews and wrote a report of their findings.

“On Dec. 13, Ben (Dale) told me that the investigation was complete and that my coaching duties were going to be “restricted” after 3 p.m. until March 24,” Olson said in an email sent to baseball families on Friday. “Even though I did not agree with this decision, after much discussion we agreed to honor the restriction because it was best for the team.

“I had asked for a copy of the investigative report, but they would not provide it to me. Last Wednesday, Feb. 27, Superintendant Mike Mathews provided me with a copy of the report because they were giving a copy to lawyer Joseph Dimonda. The report proves what I’ve claimed all along — that the charges against me are unfounded.

“The reason for this email is so that you the baseball families can read the report and the restriction letter that are now public. The findings of the report are clear and I have requested to be reinstated immediately. So far the principal has declined this request.”

At the Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6, the group of parents who initially filed grievances against Olson was represented along with a group of Olson supporters. Both sides stated their case but the School Board declined to comment on the situation at that time.

Assistant coaches have been running practices for the Mustangs who are competing in the El Segundo Tournament this week. If Olson is not reinstated before March 24, he will be back in time to lead his team in the Anaheim Lions Tournament beginning March 26. Mira Costa begins its run for a Bay League title with a road game at West on Wednesday, April 10.

On a brighter note, Olson was named assistant coach for the Cape Cod League’s Orleans Firebirds summer season.

“Cass Olson’s teams are always incredibly well-prepared and well-disciplined and can execute all of the most critical fundamentals that any team needs to succeed,” said Kelly Nicholson, manager of the Orleans Firebirds for the past nine seasons. “I know Cass as both a coach and as a man, and he will bring leadership, focus and a championship drive to our dugout, so everyone in the organization couldn’t be more excited to have him join us on the Cape this June.”

Established in 1885, the Cape Cod Baseball League is widely considered the most competitive and prestigious collegiate summer baseball league in America. The league was the first to return to wood bats in 1985, making it especially popular with major league scouts and the most discerning college coaches. The Cape Cod League is also an important training ground for top coaching talent, as former MLB managers of the year like the Yankee’s Joe Girardi (Cotuit ’84), Baltimore Orioles skipper Buck Showalter (Hyannis ’76) and Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge (Yarmouth-Dennis ’88) all coached in the summer league.

In joining the Firebirds, Olson will have an opportunity to work closely with several returning collegiate All-Americans and several others earning pre-season collegiate All-American honors this season. Orleans returns five players who currently play for either the North Carolina Tar Heels or Vanderbilt Commodores, currently ranked the top two college baseball teams in the nation by Baseball America and the USA Today College Baseball Coaches’ Poll.

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