Nearly three weeks after “reassigning” beloved New Rochelle varsity football coach Lou DiRienzo, district officials finally met with him on school grounds.
District officials met with DiRienzo for the first time on Monday, Nov. 25, during a nearly six-hour meeting with Superintendent Laura Feijoo and Board of Education members, though it remains unclear if the coach will be on the sidelines during the state championship this weekend.
"The District understands the community is eager for resolution given that the timing of this investigation aligns with the football team’s impressive playoff run,” Feijóo said in a statement issued late Monday afternoon after the first meeting.
"We appreciate Coach DiRienzo’s impact on this team. We admire the hard work of our outstanding student-athletes and assistant coaches and celebrate their achievements and dedication. We will continue to support and cheer for the Huguenots as they continue their quest for a state championship."
The New Rochelle School District announced on Wednesday, Nov. 13 that the popular coach was being unexpectedly removed from the team, saying that DiRienzo had been “reassigned from his teaching and coaching responsibilities.”
The community has rallied around the popular coach, publicly calling out Feijoo, hosting rallies and insisting that district officials be more transparent about the process.
After Monday afternoon’s meeting with “Coach D,” a special meeting was scheduled for 8 p.m. on Monday night at the Board of Education Offices.
“The previously unscheduled meeting for this evening and will be briefed in executive session on today’s meeting with Coach DiRienzo,” the district said. “There will be no public comment from the district and board members following the meeting as is the Board’s usual practice when a special meeting is called.”
No official reason has been given for the coach’s “reassignment,” despite the outcry from community members, teachers, parents, students, current and former players.
DiRienzo’s “reassignment” reportedly involves a student, who happens to be a relative, who was in distress at school. The coach reportedly eschewed protocol and contacted her father directly. It is unclear what happened to the student.
New Rochelle will take on McQuaid Jesuit at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
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