BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — McFarland High School varsity basketball coach and teacher Fernando Alaniz unexpectedly died in his classroom Monday afternoon, according to a statement released by the McFarland Unified School District.
The district said Alaniz suffered a medical condition in his classroom during his prep period and colleagues tried to assist him while emergency crews were on the way. Alaniz died shortly after. No students were present during that time.
“We do not know nor can we speculate on the medical condition,” Superintendent Aaron Resendez said.
The district has arranged to make available grief counselors for both students and staff, according to MUSD.
The statement went on to talk about Alaniz’s influence in and out of the classroom. Alaniz had been with McFarland High School since August 2019.
“Mr. Alaniz was a positive influence in the lives of students, families, and colleagues in and out of the classroom at McFarland High School. He taught dual enrollment and business and served as the McFarland High School boys varsity basketball coach,” the district said. “His dedication and commitment to students, families, and our team will leave a lasting impact on our community. Everyone in our community will feel Mr. Alaniz’s loss. Counseling will be available for students and staff that need assistance.”
Alaniz leaves behind his wife, who is an elementary teacher with the Delano Union School District, and their three adult children. He was raised in Wasco at the original Wasco Labor Camp, where farmworkers were housed during harvesting seasons.
“We suffered the tragic loss of a beloved teacher, colleague, coach, and community member at McFarland High School,” Resendez said. “Our focus is supporting Mr. Alaniz’s students, student-athletes and colleagues during this difficult time. Our thoughts and condolences are with Mr. Alaniz’s family.”
The cause of death and funeral services have not been determined at this time.