The New Rochelle community is calling for Schools Superintendent Laura Feijóo’s resignation after she announced that beloved high school varsity football coach Lou DiRienzo would be “reassigned” and unable to coach in this weekend’s playoff game.
In response, the community has come out en masse, with “Coach D’s” supporters saying Feijóo should resign after she gave few answers at a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 14.
At the conference, parents called for the removal of Feijoo, just two weeks into her tenure in New Rochelle, and chanted “reinstate him,” “end the investigation now,” and “we support Coach D!,” while holding signs that said the same at the press conference.
Following the announcement of DiRienzo’s “reassignment,” in an email late on Wednesday night, the teacher’s union called for her resignation, stating that “the anger and resentment among (district teachers) today was palpable.”
The teachers showed "disappointment and frustration with the superintendent's decision to short circuit due process rights, privacy and the reputations of our colleagues by sending out those emails,” according to the New Rochelle Federal of United School Employees (FUSE) stated. "The FUSE has made the difficult decision to request that the superintendent resign."
Even former NFL running back Ray Rice - who is one of DiRienzo’s volunteer coaches - chimed in, saying that the incident “is the difference of public humiliation.
"You’re painting this guy, and when details come out you will see that it didn’t warrant this kind of attention.”
According to the New Rochelle Football Parent Association, DiRienzo “helped a student in distress to leave school with her parent.”
“Instead of quietly investigating the issue, as has forever been the practice at NRHS, Superintendent Feijoo chose to defame our coach and suspend him from teaching and coaching — and announce that fact to the world as though he was a criminal," the association said.
A two-time state champion coach and Westchester County Sports Hall of Famer, DiRienzo was not at practice on Wednesday, and the team is currently being run by his assistants, who will take over for Saturday’s playoff game at Mahopac High School.
DiRienzo has led New Rochelle to an undefeated 10-0 record and his team is ranked second in the state. If the Huguenots topple Utica Proctor at Mahopac, they will advance to the state championship game in Syracuse.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.