By Lev Farris Goldenberg,
The women’s basketball program is in turmoil, with a school investigation into unspecified complaints underway. The complaints apparently have targeted varsity head coach Heather Highshoe.
“While I cannot comment on the nature of a complaint, I will say that the district thoroughly investigates all concerns in order to determine findings of fact and to resolve issues of concern,” DJUSD communications officer Maria Clayton said.
In all investigations, the district must determine whether an employee under investigation can remain at his or her position during the process.
“In this case, the school district continues to review the matter and Coach Highshoe continues to lead the Girls Basketball program,” Clayton said.
Parents of players also received several emails informing them of the current situation.
Athletic director Jeff Lorenson wrote in an email that “these investigations and allegations are confidential in order to protect the privacy of all parties involved.”
“The district is committed to resolving this matter quickly so that the student-athletes can progress with their season without further interruption,” Lorenson added.
Tryouts for the varsity team were planned for this week, but have been canceled until further notice. According to members of the team, open gym is instead being held this week, under the supervision of Lorenson. Highshoe has not been present at the open gyms.
The women’s basketball program has been hit with other changes as well.
An email to parents from JV head coach Ambur Liggett stated that Darius Liggett, her brother and the assistant coach of the varsity team, was “asked to leave the staff as Coach Highshoe felt there was a significant difference in coaching philosophy.” Liggett’s email was provided to the HUB by a player on the team who asked to remain anonymous.
The email also mentioned that Marshall Aaron, coach of the women’s freshman team, resigned “due to an urgent family matter.”
However, no available coaching positions are currently posted on the DJUSD website.
Ambur Liggett has not been at open gyms for the JV team this week, according to one JV athlete.
JV and freshman tryouts have also been postponed, according to the same student. Those teams’ open gym was led by Adrian Bradley.
Highshoe was hired as a physical education teacher at Emerson Junior High in 2013.
She took over as head coach at Davis High the same year, and has since racked up a 60-28 record. Highshoe took the team to four Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, as well as the CIF State Girls Basketball Championships in 2015.
The HUB asked for a response from Lorenson and Highshoe, but they are unable to comment on an ongoing investigation.