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Controversy Swirls After Coach Is 'Reassigned' Before HS Playoff Game

Lou DiRienzo
Lou DiRienzo Photo Credit: File photo

A popular and highly successful high school varsity coach in Westchester has been “reassigned” from coaching just days before he was set to coach a playoff game.

The New Rochelle School District announced late on Wednesday, Nov. 13, that head football coach Lou DiRienzo has been “reassigned from his teaching and coaching responsibilities.”

At a press conference held on Thursday, Nov. 14, Schools Superintendent Laura Feijoo offered few details, saying that she "really can't discuss any of the circumstances."

Feijoo said that DiRienzo cannot come to school while he is reassigned, though he may be permitted to return before the Saturday, Nov. 16 postseason game if the investigation concludes. It remains unclear why DiRienzo was reassigned. DiRienzo will be paid during his absence.

Parents called for the removal of Feijoo and chanted “reinstate him,” “end the investigation now,” and “we support Coach D!,” while holding signs that said the same at the press conference.

No additional details regarding his ousting have been released from the school. Feijoo said the investigation is ongoing.

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.

"On the two-week anniversary of the Superintendent's hiring, let's make sure she knows this is not how we treat dedicated teachers and coaches in New Rochelle, and we're not going to let ANYONE hurt Coach D or our kids, he is the MOST dedicated coach for our student-athletes. Please come out tomorrow to support!,” they continued.

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.

This is a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.

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