After controversial firing, Pa. prep football power set to name new head coach

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (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)

Pine- Richland High School will name a new football coach Wednesday night — and Steve Campos, the quarterbacks coach at Seneca Valley, is looking like the top candidate for the job.

The Pine-Richland School District emailed a letter to district parents Monday, saying a special school board meeting will be held Wednesday at the high school auditorium "to take action on the candidate for head varsity football coach."

Sources, including those close to Campos, told the Post-Gazette that Campos is expected to be the recommended choice. When contacted Monday night about the Pine-Richland job, Campos said he wouldn't know anything definitely until Wednesday.

When asked if he interviewed for the job, Campos said, "I've talked to [Pine-Richland]. That's as far as I want to go with a comment."

Campos would take over for Eric Kasperowicz, whose firing in April created an uproar in the district. The Pine-Richland school board opened Kasperowicz's position after he won four WPIAL titles and two state championships in eight seasons. The board and administration claimed an investigation into hazing and bullying in the program was the main reason for Kasperowicz's ouster. A month after he was let go, Kasperowicz filed a defamation of character suit against Pine-Richland superintendent Brian Miller, assistant high school principal Tom Salopek, school board president Peter Lyons and the Pine-Richland School District.

Campos' background: As for Campos, he has been an assistant coach at Seneca Valley for a few years, and most recently was the quarterbacks coach under Ron Butschle. Campos' only stint as a high school head coach was at Ringgold in 2006 when he was named interim coach shortly before the season. Ringgold was 3-7 that season and Campos resigned. He was Ringgold's athletic director for two years before taking over the football team and continued as Ringgold's athletic director after stepping away from football. He left to become Freedom's athletic director in 2008.

But Campos has many years of experience coaching at the college level. From 1993-2001, he was the head coach at Bethany College, an NCAA Division III college in West Virginia. Campos had a 40-47 record there.

Campos also has spent time as an assistant at Robert Morris, Geneva, Marietta, IUP, Washington & Jefferson, California (Pa.), Texas El Paso and Memphis. If hired, Campos will take over a team that won WPIAL and PIAA championships last season.

One of the others known to have applied for the Pine-Richland job was Ed Malinowski, an assistant coach under Kasperowicz for seven seasons. Malinowski also interviewed for the Pine-Richland job. Malinowski coached Pine-Richland's receivers and also was the team's strength and conditioning coach. He also was an assistant for three years at a school in Virginia. Malinowski is a former starting quarterback for the Naval Academy who spent six years in the Marines.