SEWICKLEY, Pa. (KDKA) — When the Quaker Valley High School football team arrived on Monday to start getting acclimated to the heat ahead of practices next week, they got a shock.
The man who’s been at the helm of the program for the last six years, John Tortorea, had resigned.
Tortorea left the coaching position and his job as the school’s dean of students on Friday, citing issues with a hand full of parents who had made the situation unbearable.
Tortorea had a winning record with the team over the last four years.
The coach declined to be interviewed on Tuesday, saying he wants the situation to go away so as not to upset his former players. But WPIAL Executive Director Tim O’Malley says the situation had to have been exceptional.
“He’s a good man, he’s a good coach. He has interacted as a representative from Quaker Valley in a very positive way. For this to happen when it did, it must have been a situation that created great turmoil in his personal life and he had to make a decision to do what he did,” O’Malley said.
In the world of coaching, O’Malley says the issue is nothing new.
“In reality, overzealous parents have been involved for a long, long time,” he said. “I can assure you that any coach that has ever put on a whistle in the WPIAL has had parental involvement that they wish they wouldn’t have. But when it becomes overbearing, and becomes impactful for your kid and the other kids, then it’s time to step back.”
He hopes the parents involved will have some time of introspection.
Tortorea says he has nothing but respect for the Quaker Valley schools, the athletic director and his former players. Because of that, he doesn’t want to comment further on the conflict.
The school has brought back former coach Jerry Veshio to lead the team and the rest of the coaching staff remains in place. O’Malley says with that leadership the team should be okay.
The coach in Tortorea longs to return to the sideline, he just doesn’t know right now when or where that might happen.