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Maria Carrillo girls' basketball coach resigns

Steve Azevedo, the Maria Carrillo High School girls' basketball coach who took his teams to a 101-40 record while at the helm of the Pumas' squad, has resigned his post amid allegations that he bullied his players over several years.

The Santa Rosa School District received Azevedo's letter of resignation late Tuesday, the day after the Pumas began their new season.

At his Fountaingrove home Wednesday night, Azevedo, 57, said he resigned for "personal reasons." He said he could not elaborate because of the district's ongoing investigation into the complaints about his behavior.

He said he will cooperate with the investigation, adding that he hoped his resignation will make it unnecessary for the district to continue with one.

The longtime Sonoma County coach said he also hoped that the community's focus will return to the players he formerly mentored and what he predicted will be another "great season" for the Pumas squad.

"It's about the girls, bottom line," he said. "It's not about my hurt pride."

Prior to Wednesday evening's Santa Rosa School Board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Mark Klick described Azevedo's resignation letter as consisting of two lines, one of them saying that Azevedo "planned to respond to the complaint."

"The district is always working to ensure that all of our programs are operating as they should, in a positive, safe manner," Klick said.

Azevedo, who for years has run a successful youth development basketball program in Santa Rosa, is the subject of wide-ranging complaints by a contingent of parents and players.

He degraded athletes, harassed them, used demeaning behavior and profanity and violated the California Interscholastic Federation code of conduct on role models and personal conduct, according to a letter from Gordan W. Egan, a Sacramento-based attorney.

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