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Football coaching search down to three for Gateway

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A new varsity football coach at Gateway is expected to be hired next week, pending a school board vote scheduled for Wednesday.

Administrators narrowed their search to three candidates as of this week, said Gateway Personnel Director Bob Reger. He said one of the candidates is a former NFL player.

Last year, a majority of the school board reduced the athletic director position to half time and prohibited an athletic director from also coaching.

Smith and some of his supporters said the moves were intended to drive him out, and that they were racially motivated.

“When Terry Smith was run out of here by the school board — my opinion, not a fact — there should have been a plan in place to replace Terry Smith,” said Monroeville resident Sasha Craig at the school board meeting Monday.

Reger said the first coach who was selected declined the job, which delayed the process.

School Director Bill Bailey said that if the athletic director position is restored to full time for next school year, it will leave the district more vulnerable for a lawsuit by Smith.

“And that would be quite expensive for the district, and rather embarrassing for the district,” Bailey said.

School Director Dan Nowak said he has never heard anyone on the school board entertain the idea of restoring the position to full time.

“Where is this coming from?” Nowak said.

“I guess you could call it word on the street,” Bailey responded.

“Stick to the facts,” Nowak said.

Smith's attorney said last week that a complaint Smith filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is ongoing.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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