Four varsity head coaches at Scarsdale High School with nearly 80 years of coaching experience among them have either been fired or resigned over the past few weeks.
Raiders’ Ice hockey coach Jim Mancuso, baseball coach David “Doc” Scholl and softball coach Dave Scagnelli have all been informed that they are being let go, they confirmed to The Journal News/lohud. Brendan Curran confirmed he has resigned from his post as boys’ lacrosse coach.
Mancuso, Scholl and Scagnelli all declined to comment further.
The specific reasons for the coaching changes remain unclear, with superintendent Dr. Thomas Hagerman stating, “Unfortunately, employment law prohibits us from discussing individual disciplinary or non-renewal information with others, including the press.
“What I can say is that all coaching assignments are made on an annual basis. Going forward, under (athletic director Ray Pappalardi’s) leadership, we will have clear, consistent and high standards for all coaches, as well as a solid annual evaluation process to monitor their performance. These factors will determine annual appointments or reappointments.”
Reached by phone, Kathy Coleman, a former president of the Maroon and White Club who remains on the board, said that “Everybody has their supporters and detractors. It’s very easy for the supporters to come out in these circumstances and next to impossible for the detractors to come out.”
“(Pappalardi) took a year to really look at how our programs are run, and I’m sure he put a lot of thought into this,” Coleman said.
Entering his second year at Scarsdale, Pappalardi previously spent eight years as Athletic Director at Edgemont High School from 2008 through 2015, according to his profile on the social network LinkedIn.
Pappalardi responded to an e-mail from The Journal News regarding Scholl, writing, “I am sorry that, as this is a personnel issue, I cannot comment directly.”
He added: “I can share that a comprehensive search and selection process will take place. I have not set a timeline. However, I do believe that the position will be advertised by early September.”
Curran told The Journal News/lohud that he met with Scarsdale athletic director Ray Pappalardi on August 3 and offered his resignation, which was accepted.
“I think the nature of the business has changed in my second term at Scarsdale,” said Curran, who previously coached the Raiders for from the mid-90s through the early-2000s. “I felt we had gotten the program back on it’s feet, so it was a good time to step away.”
Curran took over as varsity lacrosse head coach three games into the 2014 season. He formerly coached at North Salem and came to Scarsdale as an assistant with Tim Weir. The Raiders took a big step forward this past spring, finishing 14-5 and losing to eventual Section 1 champion Lakeland/Panas in a Class A semifinal.
Mancuso spent 25 years as the school’s varsity hockey coach and is highly-regarded in Section 1. The program has ranked among the best in recent years. Scarsdale won sectional championships in 2014 and 2015, advancing to the NYSPHSAA semifinals each year.
Last year, the Raiders finished 10-10-2 despite graduating a number of all-state talents and playing a very ambitious schedule.
Scholl had been coaching baseball at Scarsdale for 24 years, including 12 as the head coach for the varsity team. He established the Scarsdale Baseball Club, led the Raiders to a league title in 2006 and coached right-handed pitcher Henry Hirsch, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013. This past season under Scholl, Scarsdale finished 8-12.
Scagnelli spent the last 26 years as head coach of the Raiders’ varsity softball program, where he helped groom the careers of four Division I players and was named League II-A co-coach of the year in 2015. Scagnelli has also coached the football, girls soccer and boys basketball programs with the Raiders.
Mike Dougherty, Vincent Z. Mercogliano, and Mike Zacchio contributed to this report.