Baldwin Football Parent Asks School Leaders to Review Coaching Staff

Fall sports coaches haven't been evaluated yet this year.

Jeff Ruscitto, a Whitehall Borough resident and a parent of two members of the Baldwin High School varsity football team, is not a fan of the team's current coaching situation.

Ruscitto took his concerns directly to the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board on Wednesday night, asking if district administration is considering the replacement of any members of the high school football staff.

Jim Wehner, a physical education teacher at Baldwin High, is the program's head coach.

"Hearing some of the comments that they (some of the team's players) have made," Ruscitto said, "there are a significant amount of players that plan on not returning next year to play if the current regime is in place. I've heard some coaches that don't wanna come back, as well.

"So just I want to be sure that this (considering a coaching change) is given it's due weight and this is seriously looked at because, being a football coach myself and having a whole family of football coaches ... we are not happy with what is happening, haven't been happy with the whole communication process and where our teams are heading, talent evaluation and on and on."

Wehner, who was not present at the board meeting, was asked on Thursday if he had any comment regarding Ruscitto's inquiries. Wehner had no comment.

Following Baldwin's season-ending 42-25 loss to Bethel Park High School on Oct. 26, Wehner said, "I like this team, and hopefully, I'm gonna get the opportunity to coach them again."

B-W School District Superintendent Dr. Randal A. Lutz responded to Ruscitto on Wednesday, saying that the high school's fall sports coaches have not been evaluated yet this year.

In 2012, Wehner's Highlanders did not win more games than they did in their previous season for the first time in his four years as their head coach.

Baldwin finished its 2012 season at 3-6 overall—one game worse than its 4-5 mark from a year ago. In 2010, Baldwin was also 3-6, but that was after a 2-8 mark in 2009 (Wehner's first season with the team) and after a 0-9 record in 2008.

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Concerned November 09, 2012 at 09:50 PM
The Coach is a joke. The AD is a joke. They both need fired. And it starts with the AD, he needs to get his head out of his a$$. And when they hire a new coach make sure he brings his own staff. They don't need any holdovers with losing attitudes. Our Coaches that think they are entitled to something because of their last name.
Concerned November 09, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I diddn't know Baldwin had so many ex D1 players. They all seem lo leave comments now.
Thomas November 09, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Absolutely correct. The talent/size just isn't there compared to neighboring schools like USC Lebo Bethel etc.. Just look at the O-line's compared to other schools. Cannot coach talent!
Michael Dobs November 09, 2012 at 10:53 PM
While I don't know if "sad state of affairs" is the AD or not, he has some valid points. We currently live in a here is your last place trophy world. Instead of parents letting kids play video games, tell them to go out and workout. The Mt. Lebos, USC, NA's of the world pay extra money for there athletes to go to private lifting coaches, and agility coaches. Don't get me wrong there is some talent on this team and it's not on the coaching staff. I don't agree with the "Dr" or ciropractor raising the gripes in a public meeting. If this does not go through how do his kids get a fair shake in the future. And just as everybody is a Monday morning QB everyone was or is a coach and everybody played in college. The AD needs to go and everbody under him needs to reapply for their job. let's find who's best for the school. There is no tenure for coaches. It's what have you done for me lately.
cc November 10, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Jimma Jam I so have to agree with you there. These coach have their favorites and that is who they play. Go walk the field when they are practicing and watch the coach on his cell phone and not paying attention to the team. Being on the phone is more important than coaching. The whole coaching staff needs to go. We want a winning team.
cc November 10, 2012 at 01:20 AM
The students are at practice every day being led by a coach who's cell phone in more important. People that are criticize the students need to come watch them practice and see what the coaches are doing. I feel sorry for the student who are being lead by a bunch of coaches that shouldn't be there.
GOBALDWIN! November 10, 2012 at 04:31 AM
C. Kent has to either be the wife, mother or the coach himself if this thread or the comments are "bugging" him this much! I don't think that most of these comments are from BW residents that go and watch the games!
C. Kent November 10, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Nope. Just a guy with young future Highlanders who like going to the games, who has seen programs that change coaches every couple years remain bottom feeders. Don't want to see that happen here.
PITT#983 November 11, 2012 at 09:10 AM
MichaelA his oldest started the whole year on the OL and his younger son will get playing time next year so it has nothing to do with "playing time' so get your facts straight before you start making false accusations. He actually did something other than waste his time writing on these comment sections and expressed his displeasure the most constructive way at a board meeting. There were a few others in attendance he was just the one who did the speaking. And yes Jimma Jam his brother has a head coaching position already so that blows your other non qualified accusation as well. So basically you wasted your time! Good job
PITT#983 November 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM
What you should be sick about if you are a FB alum is the fact that BW was 3-6 missed playoffs. You should be sick that is 2011-12 BW was 1-4 (conf) 4-5 overall and missed playoffs. You should be sick that in 2010-11 BW was 2-3 (conf) 3-6 overall and missed playoffs. You should be sick that in 2009-12 BW was 2-3 (conf) 2-8 overall somehow made playoffs this year with 2 wins (loss to Woody 42-7). This current head coach has won 1 game in 4 years that he wasn't expected to win(2009 win vs USC). Other than that win all the other wins are vs teams we expected to beat (CM, Fox Chapel, Norwin's of the WPIAL) You must be reading or hearing something completly different because the reason parents are outraged is the fact that losing seems to be ok even when you have talent and athletes playing. Nobody has said " I want the coach gone because he doesn't play my son" If you would sit in the stands with parents you would see its about winning and losing. These boys work as hard as the coach and his staff pushes them and that may be the problem. When you aren't the biggest team or maybe the most talented team that doesn't mean you can win especially when you have athletes and talent. A coach and his staff can get 16-18year old kids to achieve more than they think they can if the are coached up and the right game plan. Trust me all 95% of people want is for this team to win and that is all the kids want to do is win!
PITT#983 November 11, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Why?? Is it better to bring concerns up in the Patch?? Why not go to the school board because they are the ones who hired him. Like I told MichaelA do your research before making statements. His oldest started on the OL and his youngest lettered this year so playing time is not his reason. He does come from a family of football coaches ( again research and you will see his father coached in the WPIAL for years and his brother has as well and is currently coaching). The concern by MOST is for the future of the program, development of the kids and having a team that competes.
Lori November 12, 2012 at 03:41 PM
What I find sad is the sense of entitlement that shows our kids. In any sports program there will be people who don't like the coach, it's always been that way. But here if you're not happy with your coach then mommy and daddy will attend a school board meeting and publicly speak out against them. Then the Patch will act as a puppet for the parents and write an article and everyone will bash the coach. And if enough people jump on the bandwagon them then hopefully the coach will quit or get fired. This is a matter for the AD, that is their job and that is what they were hired to do. Everyone else has ulterior motives, either for their child, brother, brother-in-law, etc. What a dangerous precedent this sets for this school district and our coaches.
GOBALDWIN! November 12, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Lori, you're wrong! The parent that spoke out at the meeting has no other motive except to better the team. Both his kids play and he's not soliciting a job for a family member. If you knew, people have gone to the AD & spoke with the coach. They take offense to being approached! Like they are above parent interaction....also the boys are so petrified to talk to their coach because if they express any disagreement or problem the team may have they are punished or threatened to be punished (by "punished" ,I mean benched or not starting varsity) But again this is only for a "select" group of boys. Some can say/do as they please! As far as I have heard & seen the coaching staff is a bit divided as well because they don't always see eye to eye!
Sarah November 17, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I would give credit to the parent that goes to the school board meeting and speaks his mind. It's his RIGHT as a member of the community. All the other parents just complain..do nothing. It's true about all the sports at Baldwin... including baseball. It's all about who the coach is going to promote... best friend's kid. Shame on all of them. As far as the kids needing to have drive themselves, take a look at the practice schedule. I don't think there's much time for being "lazy and playing video games".
Jon Wain November 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I feel bad for Dorian Brown.An abundence of talent that could not be unleashed due to a poor quality football program. This isn't only a problem a the high school level The entire football program youth to high school needs to be scrapped. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm very much in favor of the next Dorian to have a better chance to excell.
cc November 21, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Roger I agree with you that Caponi has to go also (baseball) but he got ties to the school after all just look at the last name.
Fighting Highlander November 22, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I wouldn't agree with this. I was at the Penn Hills game and they blew the last drive because they didn't have enough players on the field on that last drive after getting a penalty for having too many. I do agree that the coaches gave it their all, I just think they need to improve their offense. Seems like the same predictable plays and I'm still shaking my head after the comeback in the endzone. Penn Hills didn't have to respect the deep ball and I'm sure if they scouted BW they realize that's all they run.
Fighting Highlander November 22, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I agree. Parents need to support everyone involved. Quit pointing fingers! Get in the weight room during the off season and get stronger!
Fighting Highlander November 22, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I agree! Quit complaining on the Patch! Too many negative people who hide behind names bashing the BW community!
cc January 11, 2013 at 04:04 PM
I not only feel bad for Dorian Brown, but all the members of our football team that didn't get a chance to show their talent. The coach picked and choose his favorites and left many good players sitting on the sidelines.
loyalbaldwinfan January 11, 2013 at 05:55 PM
There were several players on that team that even started, played full games , but due to poor coaching they also were not able to use their talents to their fullest potential.. If that team would have been coached properly, I GUARANTEE they would have won WAYYYY more games.....
Demand Change January 11, 2013 at 09:39 PM
I know there are many negative comments on this site, but I have never heard anything positive about this coach.
cc January 11, 2013 at 11:59 PM
Demand Change, that is the point there isn't any thing positive to say about the coach other than he is getting paid to much for the job that he is doing.
Common Sense January 12, 2013 at 07:58 AM
He is a finalist at McKeesport and has at least a second interview according to the Trib this weekend. The kids see right through him and I heard he quit on them the past two seasons. If he doesn't go then there is something wrong. He doesn't want to be here and no one has anything good to say about him. 40 kids on the team last year? Time to move on!
loyalbaldwinfan January 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM
I read that the interview is today. They will decide by the end of the month who they are hiring. Now I have a question for our AD.... You know he is looking elsewhere and that alone shows his lack of interest here at Baldwin. Why would you even want to keep him even if he doesn't get the job at McKeesport. Hire someone that actually cares about our kids. Hire someone that the kids feel comfortable talking to. Hire someone that the parents feel comfortable talking to. Hire someone with an open mind that can see talent when it's right in his face.....These kids deserve a chance to be what they have always been, WINNERS!!! Alot of these upcoming seniors have been playing together since the young age of 6 & 7. They were always winners up until the end of their ninth grade year. Yes , they were almost undefeated...Playing against the same kids they are playing against now. Most of these kids were coached by Bill Howley for years. He would make a great replacement... Him and Jeff Ruscitto.......There ya go Mr. AD.....
bwbreakers January 12, 2013 at 01:04 PM
http://triblive.com/sports/hssports/football/3280206-74/eckels-serra-mckeesport#axzz2Hksaa9Qz The school district must take action. The guys has not lived up to his word, what type of example are we setting for our kids. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/high-school-football/pg-south-baldwin-coach-man-with-a-plan-347144/
loyalbaldwinfan January 12, 2013 at 01:27 PM
bwbreakers, I never read the second article you just posted. Thank You.... I needed a good laugh this morning.
Concerned January 12, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Coach Wehner did a terrible matching game plans against the top coaches in Quad A. I don't think this guy is capable of matching up against a lot of youth football coaches. What's he going to do when he can't run Dorian left, Dorian right, and Dorian up the middle? The sooner this guy leaves the better. And he can take Sortino with him. Oh, I hear he is not much of a gym teacher either.
loyalbaldwinfan January 16, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Well, I guess McKeesport didn't want him......George Smith in line to regain head coaching position at McKeesport Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/hssports/football/3302115-74/smith-mckeesport-board#ixzz2I9BEDZp
Robert Edward Healy, III February 13, 2013 at 06:28 AM
"New Football Coach for Baldwin-Whitehall on Wednesday": http://patch.com/A-1SNw


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