TJ opens baseball coaching position, to surprise of former coach
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Last spring, Rich Krivanek guided the Thomas Jefferson baseball team to a Section 3 title, a spot in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals and a berth in the state playoffs for the first time in school history.
That was not enough to keep his job.
On Tuesday evening, the West Jefferson Hills School District posted on its website that it had an opening for a varsity head baseball coach, ending Krivanek's four-year tenure leading the program.
“I had no clue that this even happened. I had no clue that this occurred,” said Krivanek, the 2012 Daily News Baseball Coach of the Year. “I received a couple of texts from players around 9:30 p.m., and they sent me screen shots of the site showing that they were looking for candidates for a varsity baseball coach.”
Krivanek immediately went onto his computer to see for himself, then contacted school athletic director Bill Cherpak for verification. No reason was given for the district's decision to not renew Krivanek's one-year contract.
“Honestly, I can't really comment on it,” Cherpak said. “I can't discuss personnel issues.”
Krivanek, who was suspended for two games last season for unspecified reasons, stated that he attempted to contact acting superintendent Dr. Linda Hippert and human resources director Hamsini Rajgopal for a clarification of the reason for his dismissal. But he did not receive a reply.
“The school district did not notify me at all that my position was going to be opened,” Krivanek said. “I called numerous times, trying to get a reason, and I think the best word is that I was blindsided.”
Early Wednesday morning, Krivanek posted a statement on Facebook regarding his dismissal along with the screen shot of the help wanted advertisement. In less than a day, he had more than 50 comments from friends and current and former players.
Since taking over the program in 2009, Krivanek helped Thomas Jefferson to a 48-32 record. In 2010, the Jaguars tied Elizabeth Forward for first place in Section 4-AAA, then they won the Section 3-AAA title outright in 2012.
Of the players on that 2012 squad, four — Greg Schneider (Pitt), Bruno Natter (Mercyhurst), Joe Shaffer (Seton Hill) and Sean Saputo (Waynesburg) — will play baseball in college.
“It's just disheartening, the disrespect for them to open a position and not relay that information,” Krivanek said. “I've been there four years, and I've given my heart to this program. I've had great relationships with the players that have graduated and received numerous texts and support for me on my Facebook page, and I don't know what more the school district could want.”
Since the position is vacant, Krivanek was told by Cherpak that he could reapply and be considered to fill the vacancy.
But that is not going to happen, the former coach said.
“You can call it whatever you want — opening the position, not renewing the contract,” Krivanek said. “Obviously they don't want me there, and I don't want to be somewhere I'm not wanted.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161, ext. 1977.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Greensburg Central Catholic downs defending champion California to win 1st title
- A-K Valley baseball championship capsule
- Knoch’s Bradley uses lessons learned to lead baseball team
- Mustangs point to several positives from 2015 season
- Neshannock shuts out Quaker Valley to capture WPIAL championship
- Norwin baseball looking for respect during playoff run
- McCombs tosses 1-hitter to lead Serra to PIAA tournament
- WPIAL finalist Knoch baseball team playing head games at plate
- Plenty of highlights for Fox Chapel baseball
- Gorman: Neshannock’s hero at the hot corner
- Steel Valley baseball gets another chance to advance