Coach George Curry and his Berwick football team returned to the field Tuesday, two weeks after the school district shut down the program for an internal investigation. However, it may be the final season for Curry on the Berwick sidelines.
Berwick superintendent Wayne Brookhart said Curry submitted his letter of resignation Tuesday morning effective at the end of the 2015 season. Brookhart added that Curry wasn't forced to resign, but he will recommend to the school board that it be accepted.
"We had a good discussion," Brookhart said. "He's done a great job since he's come back. He's 33-6 in three years and still has a lot of passion, but this is the direction it is going and I'm going to recommend it be accepted."
Curry said nothing of the letter Tuesday afternoon, only talking about being back at the fieldhouse. High school teams are allowed to hold only voluntary, non-contact workouts during the offseason.
"We're back on the field. The big thing now is we have to wait for that District 2 hearing," Curry said. "I don't know how that is going to go. All I know is the kids are excited and I'm excited."
Curry was referring to a hearing before the District 2 athletic committee, the local extension of the PIAA, regarding the transfer of two Nanticoke student-athletes to Berwick. District 2 chairman Frank Majikes said last week that no date has been set for the hearing. Majikes said it's difficult to get enough committee members, many of whom are school administrators, together at this time of year because of graduation activities.
Curry met with Brookhart to discuss other allegations of recruitment involving two players from neighboring Bloomsburg High School and the treatment of his players. Brookhart said there was no conclusive evidence Curry was attempting to lure the Bloomsburg players to Berwick.
"I know darn well I don't recruit," Curry said. "Never had and never will."
Curry said he took five of his players and another person took the two Bloomsburg players to Penn State's spring practice. The other person was an acquaintance of both Curry and the father of one of the Bloomsburg players. Curry posed for pictures with the Bloomsburg students and a photo was posted on a social media website, triggering rumors he was trying to get them to play at Berwick.
Curry said it's not unusual for players from other schools to accompany his players to Penn State. He said players from Danville, Hazleton Area and Northwest — all in close proximity to Berwick — have done the same.
As for the treatment of his players at voluntary offseason workouts, Curry said that situation was because of his old-school coaching methods.
"It was one kid," the 70-year-old coach said. "I might have yelled at him, big deal. That's my style."
Brookhart declined to comment, saying it is school district policy not to discuss any issues involving students.
Curry recently completed his third season at Berwick. He coached there from 1971-2005 before retiring. He returned to coach Wyoming Valley West from 2006-2008 and started his head coaching career at Lake-Lehman in 1967. He came back to Berwick on an iterim basis when coach Gary Campbell Jr. resigned in late June 2012, just weeks before official practices began.