Football

Branham community strongly defends dismissed athletic director at school board meeting

SAN JOSE — Branham parents, athletes, coaches and alumni filled the Campbell Union High School District office on Thursday night in support of dismissed athletic director Landon Jacobs – a popular administrator who was relieved of his duties last month and reassigned to Del Mar to teach history, a position he has not decided whether to accept.

Hundreds of Branham community members sat in attendance and spoke during time set aside for public comments in a plea to the school board to reinstate Jacobs as Branham’s athletic director.

They painted a picture of a man who cares deeply about Branham sports and its athletes and coaches and is an example of what an athletic director should be.

Since Jacobs’ reassignment was not on the agenda, the board could not respond to public comments made about the matter that has rocked the San Jose school’s community, nor could it vote on anything related to Jacobs.

But the board now knows how the community feels.

“The recent personnel action against athletic director Landon Jacobs is perhaps an even more egregious violation of faculty rights and board policy,” Branham parent Mark Connolly said. “Director Jacobs has positively changed the lives of so many of our athletes.”

Supporters raise their hands for former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Supporters raise their hands for former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

Branham football coach Stephen Johnson and boys basketball coach Jason Billie attended the meeting but did not speak.

Jacobs was present but also did not address the board during the public comment session. He later told the Bay Area News Group that the reason given to him about why he was dismissed was based on performance.

“There has been no official reason given to me other than the fact that the administration told me they don’t have faith in my ability to do my job,” Jacobs said.

When asked why Jacobs is being relieved of his duties, CUHSD superintendent Robert Bravo said after Thursday’s meeting, “We don’t talk about personnel matters.”

Campbell Union High School District superintendent Robert Bravo, listens to public comment regarding former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during a Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Campbell Union High School District superintendent Robert Bravo, listens to public comment regarding former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during a school board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

In the 14 years Jacobs presided over the athletic department, Branham teams have won eight Central Coast Section championships and 57 league titles. Before Jacobs’ tenure as athletic director, the school that opened in 1967 but closed for eight years during the 1990s had won four CCS titles and 73 league championships.

While public comments in support of Jacobs started relatively civil, the tone became more charged as the meeting went on.

Supporters of former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs including Branham varsity baseball player Ryan Field, second from right, and Branham junior varsity baseball player Riley Rhoades, far right, listen to Lisa Jacobs, far left, speak in support of Landon Jacobs at the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. Lisa Jacobs is Landon Jacobs' former wife. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Supporters of former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs, including varsity baseball player Ryan Field, second from right, and Branham junior varsity baseball player Riley Rhoades, far right, listen to Lisa Jacobs, far left, speak in support of Landon Jacobs on Thursday night. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

The speakers included Jacobs’ ex-wife, Lisa Jacobs. She vehemently defended Jacobs’ character and passion for the job, saying, “If you know anything about Landon it’s that he’s loyal. There is nothing he wanted to do more in this world than run a high school athletic program.”

Before anyone spoke, Board of Trustees president Jason Baker said that community members were “excited” to voice their opinion on the matter.

Branham parent Dan Grath later responded during his time to speak, saying, “We’re not excited, we’re frustrated.”

Grath continued, “We’re angry, I don’t think there’s excitement in this room.”

Some community members speculated that Branham moved on from Jacobs due to allegations that the AD mishandled funds.

When the Bay Area News Group contacted Branham principal Lindsay Schubert last week about those allegations, which were noted in social-media posts and mentioned by a source in an interview, she wrote in an email, “I cannot share information about an active investigation.”

When asked after Thursday’s meeting if there is an ongoing investigation with regards to Jacobs, Bravo said, “I have nothing to say about that.” He then referenced what he said during the meeting.

Bravo spoke about the public comments after a majority of Jacobs’ supporters left the meeting. The superintendent did not specifically address many of the questions raised by community members, including why Jacobs was being reassigned.

In his statement, Bravo highlighted the need for the Branham community to have civil discourse when addressing the matter over social media. He also defended Schubert, asking community members to be reasonable in their criticisms.

“I am deeply concerned that on social media and in other forums, adults are not modeling civil discourse for our students,” Bravo said.

The superintendent went on to share an email to those in the meeting that was sent to Schubert, telling the principal to go back to Del Mar, where she had previously worked as an assistant principal.

“It is disheartening to see a member of our own community resort to personal attacks, and disparage another one of our schools in the process – a school that differs from Branham in its demographic makeup,” Bravo said. “Unfortunately in this message and other places, some of the discourse has become tainted with classism, sexism and other forms of prejudice.”

The news of Branham’s decision to reassign Jacobs has shocked the athletic community. A petition to retain Jacobs as athletic director has over 1,300 signatures as of Thursday night.

Some parents of Branham athletes said they will consider transferring their kids to other schools in the wake of Jacobs’ removal.

Danielle Short, a single parent of a Branham freshman softball player and an incoming student next year, said she is willing to transfer her kids out of the San Jose public school in favor of a local private school with a bigger focus on athletics.

Danielle Short speaks in support of former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Danielle Short speaks in support of former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

“With the decision this principal is making, I don’t know if I want to bring my son here next year,” Short said during public comment. “I’m already thinking if I need to go under my couch cushion, scrape pennies together and call my friend who is the president of Archbishop Mitty and send my kids there.”

Some Branham coaches have similar feelings.

“This job was absolutely more attractive because Landon Jacobs was the athletic director,” Branham golf coach Tom Huckaby told the Bay Area News Group on Tuesday. “If it was someone other than him, I don’t know if I would do this job. If they let him go, I don’t know if I want to do this again next year.”

While Jacobs is no longer Branham’s athletic director, he will still be employed by the school until the end of the academic year.

Branham will start its search for a new athletic director as early as Friday. When asked if there is a possibility Jacobs could be reinstated, Bravo said, “Anything’s possible.”

While some community members would like to see the Jacobs situation addressed again at a future board meeting, Bravo said Thursday’s session was enough for the board to sense how the community feels about Jacobs.

“I think we brought it to the attention of the board in public comment and there’s already a lot of things out there both in the newspaper and on social media,” Bravo said.

Chris Mendoza, a former Branham student, speaks in support of former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Chris Mendoza, a former Branham student, speaks in support of former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 
Former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs, right, gets a hug from Tina Parrott after the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs, right, gets a hug from Tina Parrott after the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 
Heather Queyrel speaks in support of former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Heather Queyrel speaks in support of former Branham athletic director Landon Jacobs during the Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 
Campbell Union High School District board of trustees President Jason Baker, left, speaks next to superintendent Robert Bravo, right, during a Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)Campbell Union High School District board of trustees President Jason Baker, left, speaks next to superintendent Robert Bravo, right, during a Campbell Union High School District board meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

Source link

Related posts

Rockford Christian vs. Lutheran live stream: How to watch Rockford Christian vs Lutheran online, TV channel, news, odds, time

School Sports

[HQ] Veribest vs Santa Anna Live High Football Score & Results In (8.25.2022)

School Sports

San Ramon Valley vs Amador Valley Live Stream How To Watch San Ramon Valley vs Amador Valley Football

School Sports

Leave a Comment