Volleyball: Klauer resigns as boys coach

San Benito's Carlos Gutierrez gets up for a block Tuesday night against Palma.

For the third time in four years, the San Benito boys volleyball team will change its coach.

And like last year, the change will come mid-season.

Samantha Klauer will resign from her head coaching position a month into the season, according to Wednesday’s San Benito High School District board agenda. Her resignation was effective Thursday – the same day the volleyball team beat Alisal in three games.

The agenda does not give a reason for her departure.

Klauer also wasn’t in attendance during the Balers 3-1 victory over Palma on Tuesday. In her place, former volleyball player Emily Tonascia coached for San Benito.

Tonascia is expected to fully take over for the departed Klauer, Athletic Director Tod Thatcher confirmed over email Monday.

“Emily Tonascia has been recommended to take over the program and we are just waiting for official HR approval,” Thatcher wrote. “We are pleased that Coach Tonascia is stepping in as new head coach. As a volunteer coach this season, she has worked with the team and knows the kids. She is a former standout Baler volleyball player and also has competed at the junior college level at Gavilan College. We are looking to make the transition as seamless as possible and will support Emily as she steps into this new role.”

Tonascia said she was asked Friday to officially take over for Klauer. As of Monday, the team did not know who the head coach would be.

“I haven’t officially told them but I think they knew what was going to happen,” Tonascia said. “This is something I wanted to do. I wanted to help out when Sam resigned.”

Thatcher declined to comment on the reason why Klauer stepped down.

Calls to Klauer and San Benito High Human Resources Director Shawn Tennenbaum were not returned before press time.

Klauer took over the boys volleyball team last April when former coach Erica Richardson was fired for unexplained reasons.

Klauer, a 2010 San Benito graduate and former varsity player, also served as the girls J.V. coach during the fall sports season.

Tonascia, a student at Gavilan College, will take over the coaching position for the rest of the year, but will leave at season’s end, she said. When she leaves, the school will be searching for its fourth coach in five years.

“This is a one-year thing,” she said. “I am going to be playing volleyball in college next year.”

Tonascia was a member of last fall’s Gavilan volleyball team and is searching for a four-year college commitment for next year.

In the meantime, Tonascia expects to continue San Benito’s early-season success. Through the season first month, San Benito is 9-2 overall and 5-1 inside Tri-County Athletic League play.

“They’ve responded really well,” she said. “We have a lot of experience and we will continue to play well.”

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