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Kansas City's Guadalupe Center Fires Soccer Coach In The Wake Of CEO's Retirement

Ricky Oliveras
Greg Echlin
/
KCUR 89.3
Ricky Oliveras

Ricky Oliveras says he was fired for insubordination, a charge he disputes. Two years ago, he coached the boys soccer team to a state championship. Cris Medina retired from Guadalupe in April.

Two years after coaching the Guadalupe Centers Charter School boys soccer team to a storybook high school state title, Ricky Oliveras said Thursday he’d been fired.

Acting CEO Beto Lopez confirmed Thursday night that the school no longer employs Oliveras. But he declined to offer details about a personnel matter.

In addition to coaching the boys soccer team, Oliveras was the charter school’s director of youth development and was still listed in that position on the school’s website Thursday night.

Oliveras said he was fired Wednesday for what he was told was insubordination.

“I feel a void,” Oliveras said.

He completed his 21st year at Guadalupe Centers last week in his second stint and had worked there a total of 27 years.

“This,” he said, “is all I’ve known in my mature life.”

In 2019, Guadalupe Centers Charter School won Missouri’s Class 2 title with a 4-3 win over Priory, a private Catholic school in Creve Coeur outside St. Louis.

Oliveras’ departure follows the sudden early retirement of then-CEO Cris Medina in April.

Oliveras said he found the environment at the center growing untenable.

“The tension at the center right now is just unbearable,” he said. “People feel like they have to walk on eggshells.”

Oliveras has also been instrumental in working with Kansas City Parks on the annual Mayor’s Night Kicks program that takes place at the soccer fields on 9th Street and Van Brunt Boulevard in the summer.

Oliveras said he doesn’t know what he’ll do next.

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