Sierra College, athletic director part ways after charges dropped
Sierra College is negotiating terms of a separation with Tom Gang, former associate dean of athletics, after the Placer County District Attorney dropped all charges against him related to his July arrest on allegations of domestic violence.
The DA has declined to pursue all charges related to the case because of insufficient evidence, according to a letter dated Oct. 4 from Supervising Deputy District Attorney Garen Horst to Gang’s attorney.
Gang had been on paid administrative leave pending the resolution of the allegations, which included domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon (firearm) and false imprisonment.
Gang told the Journal he would not talk about details of the incident surrounding his arrest.
“When you’re in a heated situation and the police come … they have to diffuse the situation and make their call,” Gang said. “They probably acted appropriately, but I knew once everything came out and once everything was resolved in front of the district attorney, it would go that way.”
Police arrested Gang at 4:39 a.m. on July 31 at his Auburn home. He was released on $75,000 bail Aug. 1.
Peg Grady has been Sierra College’s interim athletic director but a permanent replacement for Gang has not been named, said Sierra College spokesperson Sue Michaels. The position and job description would first have to be approved by the board, and then it would go to a hiring committee, Michaels said.
Gang’s salary as associate dean of athletics was $114,815.79 and Grady, who was hired as interim assistant dean of athletics and Title IX, has a salary of $94,537.98, Sierra College spokesperson Diane Wright said in September.
The details of the separation are still being determined, though both parties have agreed to separate, she said. Michaels called Gang’s exoneration “a good thing.”
“Tom did a good job as athletic director and the college wishes him well in his future endeavors,” Michaels said. “This incident was a personal matter that happened to one of our employees and he went on immediate leave. … We continued to provide good educational services.”
Gang also said it is a “mutual” separation and that he does not harbor “bitter” feelings toward the college, which named him athletic director in July 2011. He had agreed to a new, two-year contract this past July, he said.
“I have a favorable opinion of the college. … I think it’s a tremendous place,” Gang said. “I don’t think they’re out to screw me, so I have no doubt it’s going to be favorable for both of us.”
Gang said he and his wife celebrated their 24th anniversary on Monday, and they have six children. He said he plans to focus on his family and eyes a return to coaching at the college level.
Gang had taken over as the Sierra College football team’s offensive advisor after head coach Jeff Tisdel stepped down and took a medical leave of absence in September 2011.
Gang said he has more than two decades of coaching experience, but the time requirement of handling athletic director responsibilities coupled with the unexpected role of coaching the football team proved to be detrimental to his family life.
“As a football coach for all those years, I always told our players that as student athletes we’re already held to a higher standard, and by that I mean we’re in the public eye,” Gang said. “We’re held to a higher standard. I accept that, and I understand the somewhat embarrassment of the college.
“I would say it’s a mutual agreement. It wasn’t a good fit for me at Sierra. It was a very difficult year I spent there.”
The DA’s office advised Gang’s attorney that it would “remain neutral and not file an opposition, unless further facts become known to us,” in the case Gang files a petition to have his arrest record related to the incident destroyed because no charges resulted from the incident.
Gang said he plans to pursue that petition.
Jon Schultz can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews