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No. 2 Basic baseball removes coach midseason; interim named

Updated April 10, 2024 - 7:51 pm

Basic baseball coach Scott Baker is “no longer with the team,” the Clark County School District confirmed Wednesday.

CCSD provided a copy of a statement Basic principal Gerald Bustamante sent to families informing them of the decision.

The statement read:

“Coach Baker is no longer with the team. Effective immediately Coach Gino Dimaria will take over as the interim coach. We understand that a change in staff is always difficult and a change midseason can be challenging. However, we are confident in Coach Dimaria in leading our student athletes for the remainder of the season and quickly establishing an environment that can continue the success they have had thus far.

“I understand there will be questions surrounding the change, however, I am unable to discuss personnel matters. We want to thank Coach Baker for the time and efforts he put into Basic Academy Baseball and wish him the best moving forward.”

Baker led Basic to the Class 5A state baseball title in 2022. The Wolves are 16-3 this season and No. 2 in the Review-Journal’s rankings.

Baker and school officials could not be reached for comment as of late Wednesday afternoon.

In parts of 13 seasons as Basic’s coach, Baker is 295-108-1 and led the Wolves to three state titles (2016, 2017, 2022).

DiMaria was an assistant at Basic last season after serving as Gorman’s coach from 2015 to 2022. He went 194-45 in eight seasons as Gorman’s coach and led the Gaels to the 2015 state title.

Also Wednesday, Bishop Gorman confirmed that baseball coach Chris Sheff has been suspended and that the program is being investigated. Gorman won the 5A state title last season.

There is no indication that Baker’s dismissal and Sheff’s suspension are related.

Baker and Sheff worked together at the College of Southern Nevada when Sheff was hired as the school’s baseball coach and athletic director in July 2010, with Baker serving as an assistant.

Sheff’s tenure ended before he coached a game. He was fired after the results of a National Junior College Athletic Association investigation showed players were inappropriately charged for the conditioning program.

The Review-Journal reported at the time that players were charged for food that was delivered to practice, though Baker said at the time that paying for food was optional and that a list was posted of those who chose not to eat, the Review-Journal reported.

“I would rather have an investigation than not,” Baker said then. “We have nothing to hide, and after the investigation I think everyone will know that.”

As a result of the investigation, CSN was penalized with a loss of 20 scholarships for the 2011 and 2012 seasons for three rules violations the program committed under Sheff.

In addition to inappropriately charging players for the conditioning program, the rule violations were a fundraising activity in which players were given a letter asking for donations to help pay for the conditioning program, and the after-practice meal program arranged by Baker.

Sheff’s son, Cooper, was an All-Southern Nevada infielder the past two seasons at Basic under Baker.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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