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Wantagh Football Parents Stand Up For Head Coach

Support shown for Tom Casey at school board meeting in response to some parents trying to get coach dismissed.

Dozens of football parents flocked to Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting to voice support for head coach Tom Casey.

The show of solidarity with Casey comes after a small but vocal group of Wantagh football parents have lobbied to get the head coach dismissed after just one season at the helm through e-mails to district officials. One of the many football parents who spoke on behalf of Coach Casey during the public comments portion of Wednesday’s board meeting was Mike Giardina, whose son Joe finished his Wantagh career this past fall.  

“He did a great job, the team had a lot of success and hopefully he is here for many years to come,” said Giardina before loud applause from the audience during the meeting held at Wantagh High School. “He is a gentleman and hopefully you guys can bring him back.”

Casey was as Wantagh’s varsity football head coach last July following the district’s to not re-appoint the gridiron program’s longtime coaching leader Keith Sachs. Casey, who prior to arriving at Wantagh had held assistant football coaching stints at high school and college programs the last three decades most recently at nearby , led the Warriors to a 9-2 season a berth in the Nassau County Conference II title game.

Casey was not at Wednesday’s school board meeting and declined to comment on his uncertain future when reached by phone Thursday. Casey’s appointment as varsity football coach expires June 30 and the school board will be deciding whether to re-appoint him at a future meeting along with other coaching positions for the fall season.

Dr. Maureen Appiarius, Wantagh’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said in response to parent concerns about Casey’s uncertain future that they could not comment since it is a personnel matter.

“It is a personnel matter and it would be inappropriate it to discuss it at this point,” Appiarius said. “We are in receipt of a great deal of correspondence from members of the community with respect to this issue. We are talking everything everybody has to say seriously.”

Wantagh Board of Education Trustee Jean Quinn said during Wednesday’s meeting that she is in support of bringing Casey back.

“We all on this board voted to appoint Coach Casey last July and I am going to stand on my support of Coach Casey,” Quinn said. “If he chooses to come back again and re-apply for that job, then God bless him.”

Some of the football parents who spoke during Wednesday’s board meeting called for district officials to communicate soon whether Casey will be returning to the sidelines so that players aren’t left in limbo.

“As a high school student knowing that the football season is coming up in several months, they want to prepare for a certain way for a certain coach,” said Bill Carmen.

“It is not fair that they are being put through this,” said Sharon Korwan. “These boys work hard all year round and deserve to have some answers.”

Lorraine DeVita February 11, 2012 at 02:46 PM
As for players needing to know "soon" what the heck is that about? Like it is going to make a difference? Preparing mentaly for a COACH or a season that 6 months away?? Mr Carmen, My only response as a parent of a son who was a successful HS and College football player is HOGWASH. You mentaly and physically prepare to PLAY FOOTBALL regardless of the BS surrounding the Coach staff and who is on it. You prepare your son my telling him to give 100% REGARDLESS.. thats what colleges look for, committement , physicall ability and the attitude that says no obstacle will prevent me from doing my job on the field or off to the best of my ability. Unless there is GROSS misconduct on the part of a COACH endangering a child, the parents of those protesting players just about sealed their sons fait as far as scholarship money is concerned.Colleges DO NOT PUT UP WITH PARENTAL interference in their programs and you just put a LARGE letter on your kids helmut.. good luck to you!
Mike Giardina February 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Ms. DeVita, i agree with you 100 percent that regardless of who coaches this team next season, it should not matter, the boys still need to prepare by being in shape and ready to work hard. The bigger issue is that a small cluster of parents want to oust a coach because they didn't like some of the decisions he made this past season with regard to play-calling, player positions and probably another hundred ridiculous reasons. I too, did not agree with every decision the coach made this season but I also understand that he's the coach and he's in charge. It's probably better to use this experience as a valuable life lesson in that life is not always fair and will not always go the way we want it to go. In addition, we should be teaching our kids about respecting and accepting authority......very important lessons as they leave high school and become young men just a few short years away from the work force.
Lorraine DeVita February 11, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Mike, For what its worth this guy must know Something - This team DID better this year over last yr didnt they? Perhaps he knows what he is doing , who he should be playing and what pays to call. Every parent thinks their son is a super star..the next college drafted NFL heir apparent.. lol.. just wait .. reality sinks in way to fast.and then it is the coaches fault. lmao.. wait till they hit college and reality sinks in "the BIG fish little pond VS VERY LITTLE fish VERY big pond." Egos are bruised.. suck it up and play ball.. Like i said these kids are now marked by every college coaching staff. too bad.
Mike Giardina February 12, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Ms. DeVita......Where do you think these kids are from........Western Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida ????? Very seldom will you find a football player from Wantagh High School on the radar of any college football coaching staff. Don't try to paint this picture bigger than it is.........this is nothing more than small town irrelevant nonsense.
Lorraine DeVita February 12, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I agree it is small town nonsense, more importantly it is small minded "my son, my son the star" parental nonsense. College scouts DO look at Football Baseball, Track and Lacross@ St.Anthonys, Chaminade, Division and Massapequa HS. as well as a lot of other players and HS's all across Long Island. Most of the Kids who make the All Star teams are offered some for of scholarship if not full rides. BTW the person who CALLS these scouts is typically the HS coach who has a repore and credible track record with the multiple college coaching staffs.
Mike Giardina February 12, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Division as in Levittown Division ? You might want to check your facts. The truth is that if a high school football player is good enough, believe me college coaches will find out about them. All I'm saying is that we don't have to worry about this in Wantagh.......you're hinting that all the parental whining will hurt the kids in the eyes of college football coaches....not the case here. Let's try to keep the comments relevant to the story.
Andrew Coen February 14, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Please refrain from making accusations or this thread will be shut down. Thank you.

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