High school notebook: East Allegheny coaches resign
East Allegheny school board accepted the resignations of two varsity fall sports head coaches — Jason Ruscitto in football and Brendan Walk in boys soccer — at its meeting Monday night.
Ruscitto resigned the Wildcats went 1-8 in the Class AA Allegheny Conference during his one year at the helm. The Wildcats won their season opener over Summit Academy, 29-12, then lost their next eight contests.
Walk had coached EA's boys soccer team for seven years.
Athletic Director Timothy Cortazzo said both resigned for personal reasons and were not pressured to resign.
The board also voted to post both jobs.
Also, the board accepted the resignation of Tressa Snoke as seventh- and eighth-grade head girls volleyball coach and named assistant coach Alan Mathieu to succeed her. The board also ratified the posting of Mathieu's old job.
Steele back at Steel Valley
After resigning as Steel Valley's football coach following the season, Rod Steele has rescinded his letter of resignation and returned to coaching the Ironmen.
Steel Valley is 17-13 overall (15-9 in Century Conference) and has qualified for the WPIAL Class AA playoffs in all three of Steele's seasons as coach.
“It was kind of a depressing year, not just in football,” said Steele, whose father died unexpectedly and also lost his grandfather and an uncle in a seven-month span. “With the holidays coming up, I wanted to be there for my mother. I needed to take some time off, more so than resign. It wasn't a clear-headed decision. I should have taken a leave of absence. Once the kids reached out to me, that's why I came back.”
Steel Valley school board member Mike Terrick, who is vice chairman of the school district's three-person athletic operations committee, confirmed that the board hadn't met since Steele resigned and therefore hadn't voted to accept his resignation.
“He had some reconsideration and had a lot of parents who pleaded with him and asked him to stay and help the team out. He's done a lot for our team,” Terrick said. “He's had some things going on personally, and I'm sure that had an impact. We hadn't had a school board meeting yet. Since it had never been accepted, there was no opening.
“Technically, he withdrew his resignation and he's still the coach.”
Terrick said Steel Valley had “prematurely posted the position” as open to applicants, “but that's all for naught at this point. Anyone who was interested in this position, we appreciate their interest but that's no longer open.”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib. Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.