ANTIOCH -- After guiding the Deer Valley High boys basketball team to its best season in school history, coach LeChet Phillips is out of a job.
Phillips, an off-campus coach, learned this week that he and associate head coach Pat Saindon were not retained for another year.
"The official reason is they decided to go in a different direction," Phillips said. "(The administration) felt we weren't leading the program the way they wanted. There were parental complaints."
Phillips was placed on administrative leave for three games in February while the district investigated an incident he was involved in at a freshman basketball game. A fight broke out in the crowd, and Phillips said he stepped in to defend his wife.
Phillips was eventually cleared and returned to the Wolverines' bench in time for their section and regional playoff runs.
"I was exonerated but they brought that up in the meeting," Phillips said.
Co-athletic director Scott Allen confirmed that Phillips' contract had not been renewed, but said he couldn't provide further details.
"It was a personnel decision of which I'm not at a pay grade to discuss," Allen said.
Deer Valley principal Ken Gardner couldn't be reached for comment.
Phillips, an off-campus coach, had been with the Deer Valley program for five years and served as the varsity head coach for the past three years, compiling a record of 69-22 and winning at least a share of the Bay Valley Athletic League each season. This past year, the Wolverines won their first North Coast Section Division I championship and advanced as far as the Division I Northern California regional title game.
"My coaches did an excellent job and took Deer Valley where it had never been before," Phillips said. "Apparently that wasn't appreciated."
Deer Valley produced two Division I players this year in center Marcus Lee (Kentucky) and point guard Kendall Smith (UNLV).