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BREAKING: Iconic BCP Wrestling Coach Ricky Palomino Jr. Let Go by Athletic Director

Posted March 8, 2019 by in


BREAKING: Iconic BCP Wrestling Coach Ricky Palomino Jr. Let Go by Athletic Director

by: Pranav Iyer

Decorated head coach Ricky Palomino Jr. and the rest of the wrestling staff at Bellarmine College Preparatory were informed by athletic director Mike Sullivan on Tuesday that they will not be brought back to coach the program next year. Palomino wrote this in a heartfelt email to his wrestlers and their parents Thursday morning:

“You guys all have a special place in my heart. Love you guys. Blessed to have coached some of you for the 1st time this year and others since grade school. I was saddened when Mike Sullivan informed me Tuesday he will not be bringing us back to coach next year. I am grateful that he will continue to allow us to train through May. Mrs. Luscher will let me know soon if I can still run this years BCP summer school wrestling camp. I want to see everyone do great next year and hope you guys can take advantage of our knowledge through May. Coach Sr. will be here at 4pm today. Out of season wrestlers make in season champions.”
The news comes as a shock to many, as Palomino was a coach deeply embedded in the program and invested in the lives of his athletes and their families. In seven years as head coach he has been able to bring home four WCAL team titles, three CCS Scholastic team championships and has had numerous CCS individual champions and state placers. Since Palomino stepped in in 2013, the program has been among the most successful BCP sports teams, behind just track and field and swimming in terms of WCAL championships.

Coaching alongside him are his father, Ricky Sr., and his son, Isaiah, who is the winningest wrestler in BCP history and a three time CCS champion. In addition to cementing a legacy in high school wrestling, the family has had an even greater impact through their feeder program, Outstanding Wrestling Academy, formerly known as Palomino Academy, that is run out of BCP. Ricky Jr. is unsure of whether or not his ties to the school in that regard will be cut off as well.

While the reasoning for the clean sweep of the coaching staff is unclear to many, a source has leaked a list of reasons for why Sullivan has chosen to make the change. Mentioned in the list are that the staff did not follow the school’s mission, coaches were not loud enough and were taking pictures during matches and there were complaints from parents and alumni. In the list, Sullivan allegedly claimed that 95 percent of his department’s problems were from the wrestling program alone. It is also stated that he had the backing of former AD Joe Romano in the making of this decision. The penultimate reason listed was that the “office was a mess w/ toys.” Ricky Jr. is a father of six, with three of those children being elementary school-aged.

The question now for Sullivan is who will be taking over for the Palomino’s and the rest of the coaching staff following their dismissal in May? In a post on a BCP wrestling alumni Facebook page, a former Bell wrote about a possible next step for the program. In the post, he hinted at the idea that current Cupertino head coach Mike Moyano, a former BCP alum himself, would be willing to leave his current position if offered a teaching position at BCP. He mentioned that it is important to have a have a BCP wrestling alum leading the program.

Contrastingly, a parent of one of Palamino’s wrestlers believes it will be difficult finding someone more fit for the job than the ones who were just let go.

“There’s nobody locally, even in the NCS, that could take a program over that has had a better resume than the staff that they have right now,” the anonymous parent said.

We reached out to the BCP principal and AD but did not get a response by the time this article was published. The GSF team will keep the story updated as more facts are released.


About the Author

Alforde Joaquin

ALF’s passion for shooting and editing has earned him several awards including an Edward R. Murrow Award for videography. He recently received two first place awards from the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association in the Digital Media Sports Feature and Sports Videography categories. A 6-time Emmy recipient in five different categories: Director/Producer, Videography, Editing, Feature Segment and Sound Mixing, Alf has produced over 3,000+ video segments including several award winning documentaries and features.


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