Parents, Students Protesting Firing Of PA State Champion Football Coach

Several parents and students of an Allegheny County high school are protesting the termination of a state champion head football coach this week.

WPXI's Jillian Hartmann reports the entire Pine-Richland High School football staff, including head coach Eric Kasperowicz, were let go on Wednesday (April 14.)

On Friday (April 16), Hartmann reported several parents attended a virtual school board meeting held on Friday to protest Kasperowicz's termination.

"#HAPPENINGNOW Several parents are begging Pine-Richland school board members to bring back the football coaches during today’s special virtual meeting. Many have shared their frustration and disappointment in the decision of firing the coaching staff," Hartmann tweeted.

Additionally, WTAE's Chandi Chapman reports students at Pine-Richland participated in a rally behind Kasperwoicz and his staff on Friday following their termination.

Kasperowicz was informed that his position would be advertised in an email exchange with athletic director Sean Simmons amid allegations of misconduct in the locker room, TribLIVE reports.

Pine-Richland went 85-18 and won four WPIAL championships and two state titles -- including a state championship last fall -- during eight seasons under Kasperwicz.

However, school administrators spent recent weeks investigating allegations of hazing or misconduct in the locker room, which included questioning current and former football players.

TribLIVE reports Kasperowicz was initially scheduled to meet with school officials on 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, but was fired in an email sent prior to the meeting.

An email from Simmons informed Kasperowicz that his assistants would also be fired and would need to reapply after a new coach was hired, sources confirmed to TribLIVE.

Kasperowicz served as Pine-Richland's football coach while also teaching at his alma mater, North Hills.

“This will probably be one of worst firings in WPIAL history,” said Pine-Richand senior football player Charlie Mill. “I don’t know how you can fire a guy who wins two state championships.”

Mill and fellow senior Cole Spencer confirmed they were among the players interviewed by school administrators in relation to the allegations and both said most of the claims were from before they attended the high school and neither witnessed anything alarming.

“To my knowledge, nothing really crossed the line with players doing things to other players,” Spencer told TribLIVE. “It was always between two best friends messing around. It was never anything that crossed the line. But I guess maybe other people said and saw otherwise.”

“Not one time in my Pine-Richland career did I see anything where I said, ‘This is real bad,’” Mill added. “I think a couple of instances that (administrators were asking about) weren’t even at the school. Some of the complaints happened at the cafeteria. And a lot of these allegations were when I was in middle school.”

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