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.”