Pa. basketball coach suspended after going after fan

ED PALATELLA, Erie Times-News (TNS)

The Erie School District has suspended the Strong Vincent High School girls basketball coach as the district investigates an incident in which the coach went into the stands after a spectator during a game at Warren High School on Monday night.

The coach, Paul Przepierski, is also a teacher at the district's JoAnna Connell School, has been suspended from that job as well, Erie School District spokeswoman Daria Devlin said on Tuesday. She said Przepierski is on a paid suspension.


"Positive athletic experiences are important to our students and we are committed to ensuring sportsmanship at all athletic events," Devlin said. "We are taking this incident seriously and investigating fully. He is on paid suspension until the investigation is complete."

State police at Warren, whose jurisdiction includes the high school, said they are not investigating the incident.

Przepierski, 55, did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment. He has been at the Erie School District since 1987 and has been the coach of the girls basketball team at Strong Vincent since 2011.

Przepierski had been girls basketball coach at the former Academy High School and former Tech Memorial. He also coached football and track and field at Academy.

The incident on Monday night occurred at the end of a blowout loss for Strong Vincent. With the team down 54-22 with 1 minute and 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Przepierski rushed into the stands after a spectator yelled a comment, according to the Warren Times-Observer.

The newspaper reported that the spectator had been yelling at Przepierski and the Strong Vincent players.

Several Strong Vincent players went into the stands to try to restrain Przepierski, according to a video that the sports editor of the Warren Times-Observer posted of the incident. The incident happened when officials had stopped the game momentarily because of an injury to a Warren player.

The officials told the Warren coaches and players to leave the gym and go into the locker room, and then the officials called the game.

The superintendent and athletic director at the Warren County School District were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.