A well-known head football coach in Connecticut has been told he will not return in 2016 after four different players from his 2015-16 team were determined to be ineligible for reasons of illegal recruitment and residency forgery.
Berlin High School’s John Capodice was told on Thursday that the school district will not be retaining him for the 2016 season. Capodice also serves as the school’s freshman basketball coach, and he has been told he will not be needed in that function, either. According to an interview with the New Britain Herald, the decision to find a new coach for the football program was tied directly to the recruiting and residency infractions and the subsequent penalties — seven forfeits, a postseason ban and $4,000 fine — that came with them.
“[Capoidce is] not going to be the football coach moving forward,” Berlin Superintendent David Erwin told the Herald. “The fact that the program and the kids suffered, and the sanctions handed down by the CIAC, we’ve decided to move in a different direction.”
Capodice departs as one of the most decorated coaches in Connecticut state history. The longtime Berlin head man spent 18 years at the school, 12 as a head coach, and had a career record of 106-31. He led the program to the school’s first state title in nearly 40 years, and also had three teams finish as state runner-up. Berlin earned six conference crowns under the coach’s watch as well.
According to the longtime coach, he is still retaining the possibility of appealing the decision to relieve his duties to the Board of Education. In the meantime, he’s still trying to get over the sheer shock he experienced in being summarily dispatched after such a long run in Berlin.
“(Erwin) called me into his office and handed me the letter that said they were not going to renew my coaching contract,” Capodice told the Herald. “It was shocking. I was surprised and disappointed.”