Thursday, January 20, 2011

Coaching matters at Trinity and Peters Township

The Trinity Area School Board will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium and they are expected to vote on opening the varsity head football coaching position held by Ed Dalton.
This marks the second time the board will vote to open the position; the first came in December 2009, when the board voted to open all fall sports coaching positions as well as Dalton's old post of athletic director. The vote was rescinded a month later.
Dalton's contract as athletic director was not renewed over the summer.
Depending on the person doing the talking, there's differing opinions about Dalton's status.Link Dalton and some of his supporters at Trinity believe he's coached his final game. At least one board member told a staff writer from the Observer-Reporter earlier today that there will not be enough votes to open the position.
Trinity has qualified for the WPIAL playoffs the past six years - once in Class AAAA, five times since joining Class AAA. Dalton's record since becoming Trinity's coach in 1999 is 57-49 in the regular season and 2-7 in the postseason.
He's also coached at least 75 players who played some college football.

** Thursday's edition of the Observer-Reporter has a story on the coaching situation at Peters Township. For those who would like to read the story, click
A few things in the story raised my eyebrows as I'm getting conflicting information.
"Following the meeting, which drew a large audience, Zetty said she did not receive a recommendation for the varsity football position from Richard Relich, the Peters Township athletic director, or Frank Brettschneider, acting high school principal. She did not speculate if a recommendation would be received before the next board meeting on Feb. 22."
I've had two sources that I trust tell me that Rich Relich, the outgoing athletic director, recommended Nick Milchovich. I have not been able to confirm that.
"McClure said confidential sources told her that there are people involved in the selection process who should not be. Zetty asked to speak privately with McClure Wednesday about where she had obtained some of the information. McClure declined."
Four people with knowledge of the situation have told me that Tom Donahoe – the former general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers – sat in as an advisor on the final interviews for the football position.

** How does Peters Township expect to keep quality coaches around if the school district decides to publicly open every coaching position every season?
Most school districts open coaching positions at the end of seasons but the process is very informal and when coaches are asked if they want to return (provided they received a satisfactory review), it's done with a signature and handshake.
Opening the job to applicants takes on a completely different meaning.

** Considering all fall sports coaches with the exception of Milchovich were rehired, was this process handled fairly across the board? If we've heard about finalists (like Moon's Jon Miller) for the football job, why didn't potential finalists for the other positions surface?


Anonymous said...

"why didn't potential finalists for the other positions surface?"

They did surface among several groups within PT. However, some residents do run to the press or to the school board when rumors are heard that can not be confirmed. PT is noted for their overly active rumor mill. Thanks for perpetuating the entertainment! Good stuff.

voice of reason said...

Truly this is Personal attack against Coach Dalton. Even if you don't care for the guy, they have tried to strip him of everything that he holds dear to his heart. The board of losers just didn't expect him to excel in the classroom. Ask the TMS students, he ranks among their favorites. Hopefully the justice system will look at all of this and rule in his favor. This board had a target on his back from the begining. To the PT taxpayers, goodluck this has been a really long year. Can't wait till my kid is out so I can really say what I feel without fear of retaliation against my child.

Anonymous said...

Tom Donahoe was helping to hire a new coach? Ha! Well, he has enough experience in getting fired as from jobs. South Park HS, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills. Should know something about job openings.

Anonymous said...

At PT there were no other finalist for any other fall coaching positions, because no other fall coaching positions were opened outside of the district, or posted in the local classified sections.

There was not an interview process for any other fall coaching position.

Anonymous said...

In regards to January 21, 2011 9:13 AM;

I have some extremely reliable sources that have told me otherwise! I know for fact.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the other PT coaches had favorable job reviews and won a few regional or state championships? Maybe that is why their jobs were not opened for the public to reply.

Hey, why didn't the OR publish the PTSD internal postings for those jobs?

mike_kovak said...

A notice of the extra-duty vacancies ran on this blog.

I think some people are missing the point I am trying to make. I keep hearing things are done to be consistent across the board, yet it appears that it wasn't. It appears only one job was truly opened. That doesn't sound consistent to me. It sounds like an agenda was in place to remove the football coach.

mike_kovak said...

Anon 9:13 a.m. and anon 1:34 p.m. ... if you know something for fact, put a name with the post. Gives it some credibility.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I don't need to put a name to anything. No other Fall Sport Coaches at PT had their positions opened externally, and no one had to interview for the position they held last year.

Anon 1:34 - I don't care about your source, but whose job athletic or not, had their position opened externally and/or had to reinterview to retain their position? I would love to hear...

Anonymous said...

Does it sound like an agenda or possibly a sour note on a performance review? I am not saying the situation would cause a direct firing or even an unsatisfactory review, but some specific or consistent student or parental complaints can cast shadows on a review. I had heard from a reliable source that this was the case. Certainly not enough to warrant a complete unsatisfactory performance, but shades of gray. Sure, wouldn't we all like to read all the job reviews of the coaches in the district. There is nothing wrong with the district looking for something better. They might not even find it!

Coach openings happened in the spring with PT; specifically softball. There was a lot of outrage among the ranks in PT. The OR covered it. I can specifically tell you the complaints that were made against that coach, but I certainly will not, because it is not appropriate. The district held strong and never shared that information with the public, nor should they have. It was the right thing to do. The district was the bad guy then too and took a lot of knocks.

Do you think it is legal for the district to come out and tell the public, "well, here are a couple little things that we felt needed improvement and we did not think the coach tried hard enough to fix that"? Sure, we would love the hear....

Just because your name is 'Mike' makes your secret sources credible? That is laughable. Frankly, I trust both of the other Anon's as well. PT has been loaded with gossip and hearsay under the table for years. People seem to thrive on conspiracy theories and controversy. People always think they know the entire story because someone told them a large portion of it. I am surprised the OR has not picked up on that up years ago.

Keep digging everyone. I hope soon you will be able to share the details of that "satisfactory" rating with all of us!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike, do really think it is agenda or perhaps they are trying to let this coach go with dignity instead of directly firing him like they did with Hartbauer?

mike_kovak said...

Well, in my opinion and the opinion of many, he was fired when they opened the job externally. No matter the spin, that's what that means at any other school. So, I'm not sure what makes Peters Township special in that aspect.

And I don't see the dignity in the current process, but maybe there is.

As for this comment,
"Just because your name is 'Mike' makes your secret sources credible? That is laughable."

Let's see ... first, I'm not posting as an anonymous person. I'm a reporter at the Observer-Reporter newspaper, and this blog is an extension of that company, it's not my personal play thing as I don't follow high school sports other than professionally.

I've been reporting on this story for some time and would not post things if I did not trust my sources or didn't have multiple sources confirming information. I had similar information much earlier but did not post it until I could get multiple people confirming, people with knowledge of the situation.

Maybe you have knowledge of the situation too, if so, lend some credence to what you write and don't take knocks on the credibility of someone who has spent hours talking to people.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mike. I am a parent of a former player and will not leave a name. Over half of the parents in the football program in PT, feel they are entitled to run the entire football program. I also want to make it very clear that my child had a fabulous experience in PT sports and coach Nick was great with the kids. Our child could not have asked for a better experience.

All I can say is specific documented issues were made to the appropriate district employee(s) over the past few years and completely ignored by those employees. I certainly can not say if that contributed to the 'opening' of the PT coaches position, or not.

You might want to ask the people you claim as reliable sources, if they are aware of these documented issues. As is typical, I believe your sources are looking to 'blame' someone for not getting what they wanted, based upon what they see. It is the typical bully mentality in PT. I think they really want to be screaming at the families that took written issue with the entire football program, not the district employees that took action, albeit perhaps inappropriate action, upon those issues.

I am really sorry Mike, like you, it appears to others that I can only provide hearsay. I have a child in this school district and these people are relentless upon children as well. All I can provide is a possible different perspective. Things are not always what they appear on the surface. I am really glad you brought this story to everyones attention and I hope this brings many of the other extra curricular issues to light.

Anonymous said...

Mike, Thank you for continuing to follow this story, and there is a story. Obviously the well educated residents of Peters Township just don't get it....this is not about "the coach" it is about the manner in which the head football coach's position was opened. The process was handled incorrectly thus the rush to open all head coaching positions to be consistent (the day after) and to cover the administrations back. In the event these well educated individuals do not believe there is truth to the accusations that are out there, let me see if I get this? If you are employed and your boss gives you an "unsatisfactory" review and you ultimately lose your job would you really reapply to the same company and assume you would be hired after the supposedly opened your position or let you go? The superintendent and certain board member(s) need to quit trying to cloud or ruin the reputation of a great teacher and a coach who has produced scholarship althletes in some great colleges and universities by violating policy and discussing "personnel" issues in public trying to make this about something that it is not...the only people who have an issue with the coach, this one or any other, are the parents of those who aren't good enough to play. Football has a "no cut policy" however, no cut does not mean you play. By the way,...wonder why one of our current board members approached an assistant coach from last season and assured him she wanted him back on the coaching staff? Another FACT NOT RUMOR! No wonder her husband thinks he is allowed to be part of the hiring process! The queen is running amok and continues to discuss personnel issues in public and is making a hiring decision by herself without an application, interview or the board vote? Certainly NOT the first time! FACT...but then again, maybe her husband approved?