Former MVCS coach rebuilding after charges dropped

WATSONVILLE — A former Monte Vista Christian School coach is trying to rebuild his career after domestic violence charges against him were dropped just five days after police filed them.

Hasan Houston, 34, was arrested on Feb. 21 at his Wheelock Road home across the street from the school. The charges were dismissed five days later due to lack of evidence, and the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s office did not file charges, court records show.

Houston took a leave of absence in the wake of the allegations. He is no longer employed at the school, Monte Vista Christian School Headmaster Mitchell Salerno said.

Salerno declined to comment further, saying the issue is a personnel matter.

Houston was in his second season as head coach, and his third year of teaching at the school when he was arrested. The school’s varsity basketball team was preparing to play round 2 of the Central Coast Section Division IV playoffs.

Junior Varsity Coach Rudy Gonzalez filled in for Houston. The team lost 53-45 to Palma High of Salinas.

“I think I was doing a really good job,” he said. “I’m somewhat remorseful I wasn’t able to finish it.”

Houston said he has submitted several applications, including as a youth coach, but is also considering going back to school.

“I’m moving forward for whatever is next for me,” he said. “I’m starting back at square one, career-wise.”

Houston said the incident stemmed from a disagreement with his wife, during which they both called police to help diffuse the situation.

He said his time at MVCS was a positive experience.

“I got a chance to work with a lot of wonderful students, staff and parents,” he said. “I think it’s just unfortunate that we had to split.”

Houston said he hopes the students can learn a life lesson from his situation.

“Adversity comes in many shapes and sizes, and you have to be prepared for it,” he said. “I hope they can see me bounce back.”


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