High School Sports

Tom Donald missing start of Buchanan High baseball season. District discusses reason

Buchanan High baseball coach Tom Donald, center, in a 2017 game.
Buchanan High baseball coach Tom Donald, center, in a 2017 game. Fresno Bee file

Coach Tom Donald, who has led Buchanan High to two national baseball championships in the past decade, is not with the team to start the season, his 21st at the school.

In a statement released by spokeswoman Kelly Avants, Clovis Unified School District says Donald is expected to return shortly after the start of the Tri-River Athletic Conference season next month.

“At this time Tom Donald is actively working in the classroom, but is not participating in coaching duties for a short period of time to address personal business,” the district says.

Donald has missed time before: In 2007, he was removed from the team by the district for the final three weeks of the season for an undisclosed reason.

Avants declined to provide any further information about Donald’s most recent absence. Buchanan athletic director Jason Gambrell declined to comment.

The Bears opened the season Feb. 12 at San Joaquin Memorial and started 3-1 in the Coca-Cola Classic. They have nine nonleague games scheduled before the March 8 TRAC opener against Clovis.

In Donald’s absence, assistant coach John Sylvia is running the program.