Joe Chiodi resigns as York High AD

Patrick Strohecker

For 47 years, Joe Chiodi dedicated his life to the York City School District.

Despite being retired for the past 11 years from teaching, he still served as York High's athletic director for the past four years.

This past Monday, however, Chiodi resigned as the athletic director after finding out that he wasn't getting rehired to the position after the district re-posted the job in December.

"The school board opens the position every year," Chiodi said. "They opened it in September and I applied, with some other people, and they said, 'OK, go ahead and do the job.' So, then they came back in the beginning of December and said that they were going to re-open the position."

The reason Chiodi was given for the position getting re-opened had to do with the pay structure. Chiodi worked on a stipend, like any of the school district's paid coaches, but the school board wanted to contract the AD position like a teaching position, allowing it to pay the AD more money. The pay under the new format can range anywhere from $46,000 to $80,000 based on experience, Chiodi said.

Chiodi reapplied for the position, went through two rounds of interviews, but found out from somebody who works at the administration building that he wasn't going to be rehired. So, on Monday, he typed up his resignation letter and handed it into the secretary of the school district's superintendent, Eric Holmes.

"I got a call back from the superintendent about an hour later and he said: 'You know, I didn't want it to end this way,'" Chiodi said. "...I said, 'I worked the last four years for peanuts for you guys, doing what four people used to do.' I was equipment manager, ran the concessions, assistant AD and AD."

The school board wanted Chiodi to stay on through the end of January and help train the new AD when he was hired, but Chiodi declined.

Different direction: According to Chiodi, he was told that the school board wanted to go in a different direction and hire somebody who could "relate to the community and bring sports back."

Over the past year, Chiodi played a part in trying to bring back several sports to the high school that were previously cut for financial reasons. Boys' and girls' tennis are already approved to begin next fall, and Chiodi was working toward adding soccer and baseball back into the mix, as well.

The timing of Chiodi's resignation and the hiring of a new AD puts the high school in a precarious spot moving forward. Right now, with Chiodi stepping down immediately, the athletic department is operating without an AD, and with both the boys' and girls' basketball teams in position to make postseason runs at the District 3 level, it leaves some questions as to who will help operate some of the behind-the-scenes work in the coming months while the new AD is trained.

"This is the worst possible time that you could do this," Chiodi said. "We're in the middle of a basketball season and have playoffs — counties, districts and states coming up. Whoever comes in, isn't going to know what to do. I'm leaving, nobody is going to know what to do for the kids the rest of the time. I said, 'somewhere along the line, common sense has to come into play here.'"

Chiodi did say that he has already received a couple "good offers" for positions elsewhere, but not as athletic director. He also said that come playoff time, he's already been told by boys' basketball head coach Troy Sowers that he's listed as one of the team's assistants, so he will be on the bench come February.

Since resigning on Monday, Chiodi did say that the days have gotten better, but like any negative moments in life, the feelings will fade with time.

"This was just something as a labor of love that I did," he said. "...It was tough Monday, but it was a little better yesterday and today."

New AD: According to Chiodi, the new athletic director is a 30-year-old man from Washington, D.C.

The position is no longer listed on the school district's website, but the new AD hasn't officially been hired yet, but will be up for approval in the coming week.

"Nothing is official yet," York City School District information specialist Erin James said in a text message. "I'd expect it to be on the school board agenda next Wednesday."

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com