The next Churchville-Chili varsity football coach could be in place by the end of February, replacing the only person to lead the Saints.
Paul Dick, who began to build the high school football program 25 years ago, resigned last month. Dick is the only coach in Churchville-Chili’s 22-year history at the varsity level.
“We were surprised,” Churchville-Chili school district superintendent Lori Orologio said. “This was something we didn’t anticipate.”
The deadline for applications to coach the varsity Saints was Jan. 20, with interviews soon after, according to Churchville-Chili athletic director Michael Murray.
The district’s next school board meeting is Feb. 10, and there is a possibility the approval process for the new coach could begin then, Murray said.
“You never know (who or how many people are interested), it’s a scary time when you go into unchartered waters,” Murray said. “Coaching at the high school level is very, very demanding.
“You do it because you love it, because you love the kids.”
Dick remains as an assistant coach for the Churchville-Chili indoor track team and teaches physical education in the district. He also has a position as a strength and conditioning coach at Roberts Wesleyan College.
When it came to Dick’s resignation as Churchville-Chili’s varsity football coach, he addressed it with a statement that indicates there was strong dissatisfaction among some parents.
Peter Tabone, who was connected with the Churchville-Chili football program for 24 years, Dennis Pynn and Matt Krenzer also resigned from their positions as assistant coaches.
“We certainly didn’t do anything wrong, nor were we forced out in any way,” Dick began in his statement. “The administration has been sensitive concerning our resignation.
“There are many different branches of leadership a football program comes under and alongside, we simply had philosophical differences concerning how the parent situation could be handled and what it takes to maintain a successful football program.”
Dick said there was criticism directed at the football staff about the number of Saints who suffered injuries last season, which he put at 22. According to Dick, family members of the Saints coaching staff became uncomfortable at games.
“It was going to be uphill, not with the administration but the (critics),” Dick said.
Churchville-Chili has also searched for new girls swimming and volleyball coaches.
“They are good people and as leaders of the district it is their responsibility to establish the protocols which they feel are best for the school district as a whole and we respect that,” Dick wrote at the end of his statement.
Orologio said Dick “gives a lot of his blood, sweat and tears” to the district’s students.
“I’m sure he didn’t appreciate (criticism), which we all understand,” Orologio said.