Basketball coaching draws public input at ACV

By Christina L. Moss

CLARION NEWS Writer

FOXBURG

Approximately 40 Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District parents, students and coaches attended the Feb. 18 board of directors' session to show concern for recent personnel matters.

Mike Weigle addressed the board speaking on behalf of the group.

"First and foremost the purpose of our attendance tonight is to show support for our high school principal, Mr. Bill Jordan," Weigle said. "We feel we have an obligated responsibility to bring to light several items that directly relate to the current situation here at A-C Valley.

"Our second reason for being here tonight is to show our support for the hiring of Tony McGarvey as the head coach of the A-C Valley varsity basketball team."

(Later in the regular business portion of the meeting, the board hired McGarvey as interim head coach for the A-C Valley Boys' Basketball program until the end of the 2018-2019.)

A letter of resignation dated Feb. 4 from Andy Rapp was accepted leaving the head coach position vacant. The board will now begin the process of filling the position by advertising internally as contractually obligated to do.

According to Weigle, a coaching incident allegedly arose approximately two weeks ago that required the attention of Mr. Jordan.

"The situation was resolved, or so we thought it was," said Weigle.

Rapp suddenly resigned after an incident during a game against DuBois Central Catholic Feb. 2 (a 73-64 loss) where he "got pretty hot with the players," according to a quote in a Feb. 5 article with the BUTLER EAGLE.

"I could've handled it better," Rapp said.

Weigle continued while addressing the board, "During the days following the incident a coincidental act of retribution surfaced against Mr. Jordan, which is most likely a direct result of his handling of the previously mentioned coaching issue. However the action against Mr. Jordan apparently occurred nine months prior and is just now being brought to the attention of the district."

Weigle continued, "This is simply an act of targeting and retaliation against Mr. Jordan.

"Mr. Jordan did not create the situation that caused the coaching issue 14 days ago. But he was left to deal with that as part of his job."

Weigle said the group for which he was speaking "would like Mr. Jordan to be fully reinstated with a clean slate and given the respect that the man deserves."

Weigle added, "Again as an organized group we wish to convey to you our position on this matter. We ask that you carefully weigh the situation and act in an appropriate manner to rectify the issues at hand.

"We're committed to give Mr. Jordan our continued support in this matter and we're prepared to continue should the need arise. We're prepared to go to bat for our players in this game and those players happen to be Mr. Bill Jordan and Coach Tony McGarvey."

Later in the meeting, the board approved Rapp as a volunteer coach with the elementary boys' basketball team and with the upcoming March Madness Tournament.

The group that Weigle represented did not express opposition to the agenda item regarding Rapp prior to the voting portion of the meeting but expressed displeasure at the end of the meeting.

District resident Anita Orton asked the board, "Is it appropriate if a member of our group would be able to ask for a closed session to meet with the board so what's being said does not become public record?

"I mean I know personnel issues are done in closed-session and maybe that would be more appropriate to handle that way?"

Board president Robert McGinnis replied, "As a personnel issue it would just be for board and administration. We have to ask our solicitor, I don't know if it would be legal to do that. I will look into it."n