PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – More coaches and former players continue to speak out after Pine-Richland School District removed its entire football coaching staff.
Pine-Richland football is known as a winning program, but many feel like the school district will lose out without the coaching staff.
“It’s disappointing to see that a great school district lost a very good coach and a very good coaching staff,” said Reilly Jordan, a former Pine-Richland football player and coach.
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Head coach Eric Kasperowicz and his coaching staff learned Wednesday that their contracts are not being renewed. It’s been learned that the decision was made because of alleged bullying and hazing.
Offensive coordinator Ryan Lehmeier said that type of behavior was not occurring.
“He doesn’t stand for that at all. That place was so well patrolled by him as far as the expectations and what went on there,” Lehmeier said.
Jordan agreed with Lehmeier.
“We always say it’s a brotherhood and we’re all best friends. There was never hazing that I noticed,” Jordan said.
One coach said he feels the district didn’t like football and academics sharing the spotlight. Jordan said the coaching staff created a positive atmosphere for the football program and the district.
“The atmosphere was a winning atmosphere, and it basically was, turn the kids into men and show them life skills more than football,” said Jordan.
The coaches said they were teaching players to succeed on the field and in life.
“It comes back to the kids. Those are the guys that are going to hurt. Those are the ones that are going to be cheated here,” Lehmeier said. He added, “For this to happen to them, that’s what hurts your heart, not losing your job.”
KDKA reached out to the Northern Regional Police Department and they have no reports of hazing involving the football team. KDKA also reached out to the school board and received no response.