Pa. high school fires girls' basketball coach exactly 2 months after upsetting No. 1 team

(Greensburg) Tribune-Review (TNS)
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Exactly two months after the Baldwin girls' basketball team upset the No. 1-ranked team in the state, coach Kyle DeGregorio lost his job.

When the Baldwin school board voted Wednesday night to hire Jeff Ackermann as the boys basketball coach, it also opened DeGregorio’s girls coaching job to applicants. The Highlanders went 22-24 in two seasons under DeGregorio, which included a PIAA first-round win March 6 over Central Dauphin, the top team in Class 6-A.

DeGregorio said he was told about the decision in a video conference call with administrators a few hours before the board voted.

“I really don’t know where it came from,” DeGregorio said. “My principal had a Zoom meeting with me at 3 o’clock that lasted all of one minute — just said the board was going to open my position. I wasn’t really given any reasons why, but I didn’t ask for any reasons either.

“It can’t be a basketball reason,” he added. “I took over a program that won three games two years ago and finished by beating the No. 1-ranked team in the state.”

Baldwin went 13-11 overall, 7-7 in Section 2 this past season with a starting lineup of all underclassmen. DeGregorio said the team will return its top eight players next season. The Highlanders went 3-17 the year before DeGregorio was hired and 9-13 in his first season.

“We’d made incredible progress,” he said.

DeGregorio said there were no issues with players or parents, “so you can kind of figure out where it goes from there.”

His son, Jon, spoke critically of Baldwin superintendent Randal Lutz during the public comments session of the online board meeting Wednesday. Lutz, whose daughter was a senior on the basketball team, declined comment Thursday, calling the situation a district personnel matter.

However, Lutz did dismiss suggestions that there was dissatisfaction about playing time.

“It lacks any truth as Jenna was injured most of the season,” Lutz said.

DeGregorio previously coached the Baldwin boys' basketball team for nine seasons from 2002-11. He’s retiring in June after 30 years as a guidance counselor including 18 at Baldwin.

“Nice retirement gift, huh?” he said.