South Park reverses course, won't open football coach's job
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The South Park School Board called an audible.
After initially saying 31-year veteran Tom Loughran's job as head football coach would be opened at its next meeting Feb. 13, board president John Innocenti said Wednesday that Loughran, 60, instead will remain as coach.
Innocenti called it “a series of misunderstandings” and added, “I think we have everything resolved now.”
Asked whether Loughran, who won a pair of PIAA Class AA titles at South Park, will coach the team this coming fall, Innocenti responded, “Absolutely. We told him that. He will coach. We agreed we'd talk next year … at the end of the 2014 season.”
Innocenti said the board elected to open Loughran's position because it wanted to explore whether school policy dictated that a teacher be given first crack at coaching the team.
No such provision exists, Innocenti said.
Loughran's request for retirement as a teacher was approved at the January school board meeting, and his last day will be June 5.
Loughran, 60, won 178 games at South Park and led the Eagles to the playoffs for the first time since 2005 this past season.
Revered by former players, Loughran's perceived ouster angered many in the South Park community, triggering an outpouring of support for Loughran on the Tribune-Review's website, triblive.com.
Yet Innocenti insisted the board was not trying to push Loughran out the door. Following procedure regarding teachers coaching and determining Loughran's future plans were the board's motives.
Innocenti dismissed the idea that negative reaction forced a change in plans.
“Our intent was not to switch Tom out,” Innocenti said. “It really was to make sure that we were doing the right things.”
For Loughran, the support was overwhelming.
“I've had great support from the people I've had a chance to coach,” Loughran said. “The people in the community, the parents whose kids I have coached have all been tremendously supportive. I'm very thankful for their support.”
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.