Las Vegas high school baseball coach reacts to firing: ‘Unfathomable and unfair’

Las Vegas high school baseball coach reacts to firing: ‘Unfathomable and unfair’

College baseball team loses previous games due to NIAA violation

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Six weeks after losing some of their 2024 regular season games, the administration at private Catholic Bishop Gorman High School has fired its coach.

Gorman previously suspended Chris Sheff earlier in the season before self-reporting a violation of Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association rules, according to a letter obtained by 8 News Now investigators in April.

Sheff, in response to an interview request, said in a message to 8 News Now investigators that he didn’t know why he was fired.

“I’m not bitter about it,” Sheff said Thursday afternoon. “I’m just very disappointed in the Gorman administration and the diocese.”

The Gorman administration released an unsigned statement Thursday. In its entirety, the statement reads: “Earlier this spring, the Bishop Gorman High School administration retained the services of a third party to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations regarding its baseball program. After a full review of the findings, the Administration has made the decision not to retain the services of head coach Chris Sheff. As this is a personnel matter, there will be no further comments. The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

The Bishop Gorman baseball team – led by Sheff – won the 2023 5A state baseball tournament after the Gaels compiled a 35-2 record. The team’s Instagram says the team has won nine Nevada state championships and two national championships.

Sheff, in his statement, defended his resume as head of the successful baseball team.

“I have poured my heart and soul into making Gorman a national power,” he wrote. “So this seems unfathomable and unfair.”

Sheff continued, “I wish Coach Gorman good luck. He’s going to need it.

When the team announced it was essentially abandoning its season, 8 News Now investigators obtained a letter from Gorman athletic director Grant Rice.

“On April 18, 2023, it was brought to our attention that an administrative error was made when permission to play documents for a transfer student were submitted at the start of the season,” Rice wrote in the letter from April 23. “Upon further investigation, the error was rectified and the necessary transfer documents to request approval for the student’s participation were submitted. It was decided that he would be eligible to participate for the remainder of the season.

The school also made no comment. Likewise, the NIAA didn’t have much to say.

“The NIAA office administers sanctions if a violation of a Nevada administrative code is found to have occurred,” Donnie Nelson, NIAA executive director, wrote in an email to investigators from 8 News Now. “The NIAA office does not become involved in school and/or district personnel matters.”

The NIAA ignored a request for clarification.

At the time, athletic director Grant Rice announced the school was conducting an internal investigation. He told parents of students in the Bishop Gorman High School baseball program that the violation involved a student’s eligibility for the varsity baseball team.

“There are rumors that a group of parents who transferred to the junior varsity team are the instigators,” Sheff said. This allegation has not been confirmed.