For the second time in three offseasons, the Poughkeepsie City School District will be searching for a new head varsity football coach.
John Castellano resigned from the position effective Thursday, Poughkeepsie school board president Ralph Coates said Friday.
Castellano said he resigned for “personal reasons,” noting his 65-mile commute to Poughkeepsie each way.
“It was a great experience. I enjoyed the kids,” Castellano said. “The travel was just a lot more than I bargained for.”
In two seasons as coach, Castellano’s Pioneers were 4-13, including a 1-7 mark this year, their first in Section 9.
“We knew this year was going to be a little difficult,” he said. “We were young. We probably started 17 or 18 positions with underclassmen.
“Basically, every game, with the exception of the Cornwall game, they played hard. I think going forward, they’ll be fine.”
Internal applicants have until Nov. 14 to submit an application.
“We’re going to start the process right away,” Coates said of the coaching search. “We’ll put a committee together that will consist of district staff, parents, current players to help make recommendations for a new varsity football coach.”
Castellano said he does not intend to be a part of Poughkeepsie’s process, but said the team is in good hands with its administration, which does “a tremendous job there.”
“They’re doing everything that’s right for their kids,” Castellano said, thanking athletic director Matt Cameron especially for his support. “I have the utmost respect for everybody up there. It just became too much for me.”
Castellano’s hiring ended a long process in the spring and summer of 2013, following the end of Ken Barger’s seven-season tenure. Barger’s 2011 Poughkeepsie team won the program’s first sectional championship, a Class A crown.
Barger was suspended during an investigation by the administration into unauthorized accommodations that were given to some Poughkeepsie students for the New York State Regents exams in January 2013.
Longtime Barger assistant Mike Bianco was the first candidate recommended to the school board to replace Barger, but Bianco and his proposed staff resigned July 17, 2013, the day they were going to be up for board approval.
Castellano, who was ultimately approved by the Poughkeepsie board Aug. 5, 2013, coached Nyack for 23 seasons, winning Class A state championships in 2000 and 2003.
“I have the utmost respect for John,” Coates said. “We’re going to continue the rich history of football, the tradition we have in Poughkeepsie, and we’ll move forward.”