PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pine-Richland head football coach Eric Kasperowicz and his entire coaching staff will not return in the fall.
KDKA has confirmed Kasperowicz and his coaching staff were notified Wednesday through email that they would not be returning. The Pine-Richland Football program is the reigning 5A WPIAL champions and PIAA State champions. Kasperowicz has won four WPIAL titles and two state championships.READ MORE: Duquesne City Schools To Hold Classes Once Again For 7th Graders This Year
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The move came as a shock to current and former players. Once the news broke, players started showing up at the stadium to voice their support of the coaching staff.
“This is crazy,” said senior wide receiver Charlie Mill. “All these coaches, the whole coaching staff, they treated me like a son. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
The school district has not said why the coaches’ contracts won’t be renewed, but KDKA has confirmed the school has been talking to past players about possible hazing incidents. Several players going back at least five years have been contacted by the school.
Mills was one of the people interviewed by school administrators.READ MORE: PWSA Receives $24 Million State Loan To Repair 22 Miles Of Sewer Lines
“They said nothing was going to happen with coach Kasper, and they asked for complete honesty. And then they turned it back around on all the people they interviewed,” Mill said.
“It’s crazy and pathetic to think somebody would try to land that on this program,” said Jordan Crawford, a former player.
On Thursday morning, Kasperowicz released a statement about the situation.
“I was informed yesterday that my coaching contract will not be renewed. I am disappointed by this decision and want to unequivocally state that no bullying or hazing took place in the Pine-Richland football program under my watch. I never condoned any bullying or hazing. If I became aware of any such claims I met with the individuals and immediately put an end to it. I addressed and resolved these infrequent events over my 8-year tenure internally within the team. The players and coaches were made aware of my zero tolerance for this type of behavior. Certainly, if bullying or hazing had occurred under my watch, I would have followed proper reporting procedures as I have always done throughout my professional career. I want to thank all my supporters who know the safety and well-being of students is and will always be my utmost priority.”
The Pine-Richland School District has released this statement through their director of Communications.
“The Pine-Richland School District does not comment on personnel matters. The Pine-Richland Athletic Department will be advertising for the position of varsity head football coach. The team has earned on-the- field success. The athletic department recognizes the time, energy, and expertise invested by the entire coaching staff.”MORE NEWS: Gary Mills, Ex-Husband Of Woman Who Embezzled $13 Million, Sentenced To Prison
Stay with KDKA for more on this developing story.