Football coaches across Pa. show support for Eric Kasperowicz after controversial firing

CHRIS HARLAN
The (Greensburg) Tribune Review (TNS)
Students gather in front of Pine-Richland High School rallying in support of the fired head football coach Eric Kasperowicz Friday, Apr. 16, 2021, in Richland Twp., Pa. (Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette via AP)

Dozens of high school football coaches statewide have used social media to announce their support for coach Eric Kasperowicz and his assistants, who were fired at Pine-Richland on Wednesday.

Many of the tweets were in response to an email sent by Gateway athletic director/football coach Don Holl, who urged his colleagues to not apply for the open job. Holl sent his email to fellow members of the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association.

"My motivation was just to say, 'Hey, I think this should still be his job,'" Holl said, "and hopefully they'll reconsider and do the right thing and rehire him."

Kasperowicz confirmed Friday that he reapplied for the job, two days after the district opened his position to applicants. Pine-Richland went 85-18 in eight seasons under Kasperowicz with four WPIAL championships and two state titles.

The administration's decision to replace the coaching staff stirred controversy in the community. Pine-Richland students rallied Friday morning outside the high school in support of Kasperowicz.

The school district in recent weeks had investigated allegations of possible hazing or bullying associated with the team, said current and former football players who were questioned by administrators. However, the district has not confirmed the investigation and declined to explain why Kasperowicz's contract wasn't renewed.

"It's hard to be a coach and there's really not a lot of job security," Holl said. "It's tough when you see guys who you respect and you know and you trust get a raw deal because it could happen to anybody. Unfortunately, this is pretty good evidence of that."