Poughkeepsie High School is not hiring a head varsity football coach just yet, Athletic Director Matt Cameron said, but an announcement on that could come as soon as this week.
“We’re in the process of trying to identify some candidates that are going to lead our program this fall and in the future,” Cameron said. “We’re confident we’ll find a head coach and assistant coaches that are able to serve our high school, our student-athletes and our community.
“We’re going to get the best possible coach we can for our kids.”
One candidate could be Charles Spencer Jr. Spencer is a 2000 Poughkeepsie graduate who played collegiately at Pittsburgh before being drafted by the Houston Texans. His NFL career ended after two games because of a leg injury. He lives and works locally.
Cameron declined to mention whether Spencer had applied for the head-coaching position, but said, “We would love to get Charles involved in our program. He was a star in Poughkeepsie, a star in college and played in the NFL. We would love to have him in our program in some capacity.”
Spencer was in attendance at Monday’s organized team activity with the players at the high school, along with Chicago Bears offensive lineman Derek Dennis.
Spencer could not say if he had applied for the position.
“I’m here to help these kids out,” Spencer said. “I’m an alum of the school and I live in the area and I’m in a position to help out.”
Cameron said the process will be expedited, considering that practice begins Aug. 19 and the season starts Sept. 6.
“We want to get this done as soon as possible,” Cameron said. “We want to get it done this week. We were working on it all weekend and for the last few months.”
Until the time a coach is hired, Cameron said, the team’s workouts will still be held four nights a week and will be run by a former modified coach, who is a faculty member Cameron declined to identify.
Poughkeepsie’s previous coach was Ken Barger, who students were told is presently serving a suspension pending an investigation into unauthorized accommodations that were given to some Poughkeepsie students for the New York State Regents exams in January.
Cameron initially recommended longtime Barger assistant Mike Bianco to the board, but Bianco and his proposed staff stepped down early Wednesday before they were to be voted on by the board on Wednesday night.
Bianco and assistants Edward Coviello, Matt Urciuoli and Brian O’Connell had been running the team’s workouts until last week. O’Connell was not listed as a returning member on the proposed staff given to the Board of Education.
Cameron said Matt Featherston, a Poughkeepsie graduate who played at Texas A&M, remains with the program as the junior-varsity coach.
“Matt’s still very interested in coaching and still wants to be involved with coaching,” Cameron said.