New Rochelle football team wins playoff game without head coachPosted: Updated:
The New Rochelle High School football team won their first playoff game without their head coach by their side.
The team remained undefeated with a 21-7 win over Utica Proctor, but not everyone is happy with the circumstances with the school's decision to reassign coach Louis DiRienzo.
Many students, teachers and parents were outraged after the district reassigned DiRienzo for violating school policy.
New Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijoo is under fire for her decision to reassign the longtime coach just days before the playoff game.
"I'm well aware that this is a challenging circumstance," Feijoo says.
School officials refuse to say what rule the coach violated citing confidentiality issues, but supporters of DiRienzo say it's because he helped a student in distress leave school grounds with a parent.
"I don't think it's right to have the coach reassigned before a big game," says James Short of New Rochelle.
Some students even walked out of class Friday in protest of the decision.
Feijoo says she is happy that the students conducted the walkout in a respectable fashion, but says "the school will follow the regulations for addressing any unexcused absences, as prescribed by the Code of Conduct."
The school district also says the investigation into DiRienzo is ongoing and the undefeated football team will be playing without their head coach.
New Rochelle will now head to Middletown for the state semifinals.