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Football coach files EEOC complaint against Gateway School District

| Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, 3:28 p.m.

Gateway High School football coach Terry Smith says in a federal complaint that the district's decision to turn his main job as athletic director into a half-time position was racially motivated.

Smith filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)against the school district.

The school board in June reduced Smith's position as athletic director from full-time to part-time status, a move board members said was part of a broader effort to cut costs.

“We've received the complaint. The district is not going to comment on the complaint any further due to the fact it's litigation now,” school district spokeswoman Cara Zanella said Tuesday.

Smith declined comment when reached by phone Tuesday afternoon.

The EEOC enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against someone because of the person's race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability or age.

School board members Dave Magill and Steve O'Donnell said they have been instructed by the district's attorney not to comment.

Discussions in the spring about cutting Smith's position included heated protests by people who attended the school board meetings.

The Allegheny East Branch of the NAACP spoke out in support of Smith.

This is Smith's 11th year as football coach at Gateway.

He has amassed a 99-29 record, including 7-1 overall and 7-0 the Quad East Conference this season.

He has led the Gators to six conference titles and four WPIAL finals appearances.

Staff writers Michael Love, Tony LaRussa and Kyle Lawson contributed to this report.

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